Transport leaders urge Duterte: Kill colorum drivers, LTO execs

>> Sunday, April 9, 2017

By Nelson Bolos

PANIQUI, Tarlac -- “Desperate and helpless,” transport leaders here urged President Rodrigo Duterte to “kill” colorum owners and drivers and Land Transportation Office officials.“Masyado na kaming kinakawawa, wala na kaming mapuntahan, kaya umaapela kami kay Presidente (Duterte) na ipag-utos niya na pagpapatayin na lamang ang mga colorum drivers at operators, pati na ang mga taga-LTO,” said Bernie Fajardo, chairman of the Tarlac-Moncada-Gerona-Paniqui Transport Cooperative Inc. (TAMOGEPA).
TAMOGEPA records show the transport group have submitted letter-complaints to LTO Region 3 Director Marina De Jesus and former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Region 3 Director Zona Russet Tamayo on March 12, 2016, and also to LTO local offices in Tarlac City and Paniqui but nothing came out on their request to apprehend colorum UV vans plying their franchise route.
Similar complaints were also submitted to the mayors of Tarlac City, Gerona and Paniqui including the former PNP Region 3 Director Chief Supt Rudy Lacadin who is now retired.
It was, however, found that Paniqui, Gerona and Tarlac City have no local ordinances penalizing the operation of colorum vans, only ordinances against operation without business permit.  
“Walang nangyayari, araw-araw dumadami pa ang mga colorum, dahil ayaw talaga nilang hulihin ang mga ito simula pa noong 2010. Halos pitong taon na nila kaming ninanakawan ng aming lehitimong hanapbuhay”, also said Fajardo. 
TAMOGEPA earlier submitted their complaint to Malacanang seeking the relief and investigation of LTO officials in Tarlac City and Paniqui, including the LTO region 3 officials, but they received a belated response only last January that it was referred to the DOTR but the operation of the more than 200 colorum vans continued.
“Ginoong Presidente, kung nararapat patayin ang mga drug pushers, mas nararapat sigurong patayin ang mga colorum drivers, operators at mga taga-LTO dahil mahigit 6 na taon na nila kaming pinapahirapan at patuloy nilang binabastos ang batas trapiko. Walang silang takot sa inyo”, added Fajardo.   
Last July, out of TAMOGEPA’s complaint, now retired region 3 PNP director Lacadin then ordered former Gerona police chief Supt Ariel Red to apprehend colorum vans passing in front the Gerona police station daily and turn them over to LTO offices. Angered by the order, instead of apprehending colorum, Red turned his ire on the TAMOGEPA jipney units and drove them away from the vacant lot which they rented as sub-terminal along the Mac Arthur highway.    
Since last year only around 10 colorum vans were “apprehended” by the LTO officials but these were later on released and still continue to operate.
Last month, one of the unmarked colorum UV express (ADG 6367) owned by Insp. Jeffrey De Guzman was apprehended and impounded by the PNP PRO 3-assisted LTFRB Regional Anti Colorum Task force but since then, according to Fajardo, 3 brand new uv vans were added to the fleet of illegal public utility vehicles.
According to TAMOGEPA member Januard Mendoza, De Guzman’s other UV van (ACM 1943) is still plying the road as colorum.
“Noon pag naghuhuli sila moro’moro lamang. Nayong ayaw ng manghuli ng colorum ang mga taga LTO Paniqui at Tarlac City, kaya patuloy ang operation ng mga illegal at wala ng batas trapiko ang umiiral dito,” Fajardo said. 


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