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LTFRB Bicol regional head, 2 others suspended

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THE LAND Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board’s (LTFRB) director and two other employees of the Bicol regional office have been suspended alleged corruption, the agency said in a statement Wednesday. Region V Director Vladimir Kahulugan and employees Andres Tabunda and Arnel Sabello are facing charges of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the public. LTFRB said the cases against Mr. Kahulugan were filed based on verified reports of cash solicitations, for allowing a certain Mark Sumulong to misrepresent the agency in collecting money from operators with pending cases, and allowing his enforcement team to demand monthly “protection” money from Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) operators. Messrs. Tabunda and Sabello, meanwhile, are charged with falsification of documents and for deliberately tampering and falsifying the minutes of deliberation in relation to the appointments of some LTFRB Region V personnel. LTFRB also reported that another regional officer, Gerard del Rio, was dismissed from service last July for accepting cash in exchange for the speedy issuance of Certificate of Public Convenience to PUV operators in Catanduanes and in Masbate. Along with Mr. Del Rio, the LTFRB also ordered the dismissal of 13 job order employees in relation to the cases filed.

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