The head of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Surigao City has been placed under preventive suspension over alleged extortion.
In an order issued October 3, LTO chief Edgar Galvante has ordered the 90-day suspension of Manuel Del Carmen, district officer of LTO Surigao, as the agency concluded that a prima facie case exists for grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Del Carmen was charged for allegedly extorting money from an applicant to expedite transaction in January, an accusation he has vehemently denied.
Claiming he was denied due process, Del Carmen said he would contest the suspension order and expressed belief that the “law is on his side.”
Del Carmen also branded his suspension as “an instrument for harassment and persecution”, openly accusing LTO-Caraga acting regional director Nordy Plaza of allegedly orchestrating his ouster after he focused on getting rid of fixers within the agency.
According to Del Carmen, Plaza has an axe to grind against him after he ordered the police to arrest a suspected license “fixer” supposedly working for a medical clinic, which was allegedly owned by a common-law wife of Plaza‘s brother.
“This has something to do with my anti-fixer campaign. Director Plaza is mad at me,” Del Carmen alleged.
The Courier tried but failed to reach Plaza for comment. By CLC