MANILA - The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee will recommend the filing of graft and corruption charges against Transportation officials involved in the delayed release of motorcycle plate numbers, the panel's head said Thursday.
Earlier this week, Senate Blue Ribbon Committee chair Richard Gordon scolded Land Transportation Office (LTO) officials for "swindling" motorcycle owners who applied but never received their license plates for nearly 8 years.
"Ilang beses ka nang nagbayad, wala ka pa din plaka... Talagang graft and corruption ang pupuntahan nito," Gordon said in an interview on TeleRadyo.
(You paid several times already but they still don't release your plate... This will really lead to graft and corruption.)
In 2013, the LTO opened a public bidding for the supplier of motorcycle plates, but the Commission on Audit (COA) flagged the process, saying it was illegal as there was no budgetary allocation for the production of license plates at that time.
The Supreme Court eventually allowed the production of the license plates to resume provided those involved in the questionable bidding would be held accountable, Gordon said.
"Ang nangyayari naghahabol sila ng 2-3 taon na walang plaka
samantalang meron naman silang mga pabrika ng plaka sa LTO noong araw pa," the senator said.
(What's happening is they are trying to address the 2-3 years of backlog even if they have plate factories inside the LTO.)
"Ang dami nating katiwalian na pinababayaan lang natin at kinakaya 'yung maliliit na walang laban," he said.
(There are so many anomalies that we shrug off so less fortunate and helpless people have no choice but to try to get by.)
The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee plans to invite officials from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in succeeding hearings to check if motorcycle dealers have been skirting tax duties in the sale and processing of documents for motorcycles, Gordon said.