LTO regional director settles district power struggle

In a radio interview, Mustapha said Bacataranao ‘Bobby’ Mitunong will remain as Supervising Transportation Regulatory Officer (STRO) of the LTO Kidapawan district, based on the December 4 order of LTO Assistant Secretary Reynaldo Berroya.

But Naga Mimbala, former LTO Kidapawan’s STRO, said he had an order from former LTO Assistant Secretary Anneli Lontoc to assume the post effective September 1 this year.

Office Order No. 272-2006, issued by Lontoc on September 1, stated that Mimbala would be transferred from Marawi City to Kidapawan City effective that day while Mitunong would be transferred from Kidapawan City to Maguindanao district office.

Lontoc then ordered the concerned officers to effect a smooth turnover of duties and responsibilities, money, and accountabilities from the outgoing head to the incoming head of office.

But Mimbala said the order did not reach his office. He said he learned about the order only in the last week of November.

“What I did, I went to the LTO Kidapawan district and told Bobby Mitunong that I have an order coming from Asst. Sec. Lontoc replacing him as the STRO here,” he said during the interview over DXND.

Mitunong, however, refused to vacate his post, saying he also has an order that he should remain as STRO of Kidapawan district.

“Since last week of November, some of the employees here (at the LTO Kidapawan district) were in a quandary as to who to follow — Sir Mitunong or Sir Mimbala. Both are claiming they are the rightful head here,” one of the employees told DXND.

To clear the issue, Mustapha told Mitunong that he remains the STRO of Kidapawan district, according to Office Order 2006-219 issued by Assistant Secretary Berroya on December 4.

“Mimbala would be transferred to LTO in Parang town in Maguindanao, effective December 4,” he said.

“This order superseded Office Order No. 271-2006. This was issued in the best interest of the service and thus, must be effected immediately,” Mustapha said.

In May this year, Mimbala, former STRO of Kidapawan, was suspended for 90 days for not implementing ‘under collection’ of motor vehicles’ registration. As his replacement, Mitunong was assigned as STRO of Kidapawan.

But Mimbala filed in May a motion for reconsideration for his 90-day suspension. He argued that the suspension order was unjust and unfair. The court, however, has not decided on his case.

After serving his suspension last August, Mimbala was transferred as STRO of Marawi district.