Ex-LTO chief Torres dies
(The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Former Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virginia Torres died of cardiac arrest yesterday at a Pampanga hospital where she was brought on New Year’s Eve after collapsing in her home in Tarlac.

Torres’ brother Ruben said over dzMM she died at around 1 a.m. yesterday at the The Medical City in Clark Field, Pampanga.

Ruben said his sister was on her way to the toilet when she collapsed in her home in Paniqui, Tarlac.

“She had cardiac arrest, she suddenly felt dizzy and could not stand up, and then her breathing stopped,” Torres said in Filipino.

Her body lies in the state at the family residence in Paniqui Tarlac.

Torres’ brother said she complained of chest and back pains.  She underwent surgery in 2015 for cervical cancer. But Ruben clarified his sister did not die because of the cancer.

He said she was taking maintenance medicine for her hypertension, but did not show signs of an impending heart attack.

“We were so happy in the past few days,” he said.

Torres served in the government for more than 30 years. She was appointed LTO chief by President Aquino in July 2010 and retired from government service in October 2013. Reports said she was one of President Aquino’s shooting buddies.

In 2013, she became controversial after she was caught playing a slot machine in an unidentified casino. That video was posted on YouTube and had more than 20,805 views.

She resurfaced in the news anew in 2015 after she showed up at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Aug. 20 allegedly to negotiate the release of at least 64 shipping containers of smuggled Thai sugar worth over P100 million. She denied the allegation.

Torres’ brother said Virginia was unperturbed by allegations raised against her and that she sought strength from the support of family and friends.

LTO chief Alfonso Tan has resigned and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) executive director Roberto Cabrera will take his place starting tomorrow. Tan was appointed after Torres retired in 2013. 

An LTO official said that Torres was a very “down to earth” person. He said that Torres knew all the problems at the LTO as she rose from the ranks.

ACIRC ALFONSO TAN BUREAU OF CUSTOMS BUT RUBEN CLARK FIELD FORMER LAND TRANSPORTATION OFFICE LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD MEDICAL CITY NEW YEAR PRESIDENT AQUINO TORRES
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