GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/03 February) – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Region 12 warned residents on Friday regarding the operations of a recruitment syndicate that reportedly offers fake job openings at the agency in exchange for hefty fees.
Arlan Mangelen, LTO Region 12 director, said they are currently tracking down the movements of several personalities involved in the hiring ring, which supposedly operates in some LTO district offices in the region.
Region 12 covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos,
Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.
“The group’s operations appear to be quite extensive and it is allegedly being backed by some former barangay captains and relatives
of previous LTO employees,” Mangelen said.
Citing reports reaching his office, the official said the group has been allegedly offering fake job appointments for LTO traffic
enforcers and even acting district heads in exchange for the payment of “processing fees” that range from P5,000 to P40,000.
On Thursday, agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Sarangani arrested an alleged member of the group following an
entrapment operation in Alabel town.
Lawyer Ferdinand Balduman, executive officer of NBI Sarangani District Office, said they nabbed suspect Mario Mahinay after he was caught in the act of receiving some P10,000 from an applicant for traffic enforcer at the LTO Alabel district office.
“They were asking P30,000 from the applicant, promising to fix his appointment as traffic enforcer allegedly with some LTO officials,” he said, adding five other alleged victims of Mahinay’s group have also sought their assistance.
Balduman said they are set to file usurpation of authority and estafa charges against Mahinay, who initially denied the accusations but later admitted that he was a “fixer” and an insurance agent at the LTO-Alabel.
Mahinay told reporters that he was indeed receiving applications for traffic enforcers but claimed that he was only asking P1,000 from the applicants as payment for the processing and delivery of their documents to the LTO regional office.
“We’re receiving the applications in advance while waiting for the new LTO (regional director) to assume his post,” he said.
But Mangelen denied that he was being replaced as LTO regional director, citing that the group uses such line to convince applicants
to agree to their proposal.
“We don’t have any recruitment or hiring right now for traffic enforcers. So anyone who was approached by these people should
immediately come to us or report the matter to proper authorities,” he said.
The official clarified that the agency has neither deputized any insurance agent nor tolerated the presence of fixers like Mahinay in
“We’ve been actually looking for him (Mahinay) because of his involvement in this recruitment racket,” he added. (Allen V.