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Lawmakers want LTFRB chief to resign

Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 7, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Administration and opposition lawmakers called for the resignation of Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chairman Winston Ginez for allegedly illegally issuing franchises to favored bus companies.

Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz walked out of the inquiry into the illegal bus franchises on Wednesday at the House of Representatives when Ginez could not answer his questions.

Dela Cruz said it was suspicious that Ginez could not make a firm commitment that his agency will correct the mistakes on the issuance of the franchises to bus companies.

“He lied to this committee many times before. I will not hear more of his lies,” Dela Cruz said before exiting the hearing conducted by the House committee on Metro Manila development.

Angkla partylist Rep. Jesulito Manalo hit LTFRB officials for not communicating with each other resulting to more serious problems within the agency.

It was also learned during the hearings that Ginez and two other board members, Ariel Inton and Ronaldo Corpus, were apparently not on speaking terms.

“If you cannot talk to each other, then you better resign from your posts,” Manalo said.

Members of the committee, chaired by Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo, said the LTFRB has made the traffic situation in the metropolis worse by allowing provincial buses to ply in Metro Manila.

Dela Cruz noted that reports of corruption and irregularities in the LTFRB started to circulate with the implementation of the provincial bus rationalization plan of the agency.

The lawmaker cited one controversial decision where the LTFRB approved the application of Pangasinan Solid North Inc. despite the fact that it was not a prior operator and did not have business permits, terminals and garages in the modified routes.

During the hearing, Inton admitted that he objected to the release of the Solid North decision, alleging that Ginez misled him into signing a draft decision with the assurance that the same wil be subject to further deliberations.

Inton said to his surprise, Ginez later released the decision to grant the franchise without the authority of the two other members of the LTRFB Board.

ARIEL INTON AND RONALDO CORPUS DELA CRUZ GINEZ HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INTON JESULITO MANALO LAND TRANSPORTATION FRANCHISING AND REGULATORY BOARD METRO MANILA PANGASINAN SOLID NORTH INC QUEZON CITY REP SOLID NORTH
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