By ERWIN MASCARIÑAS
THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) arrested an officer of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) during an entrapment at the LTO office in Patin-ay town, Agusan del Sur on Thursday morning.
The NBI identified the suspect as Gamoranao Sangcopan from Villa Angela Subdivision, Balulang in Cagayan de Oro City. He works at the LTO as a transport regulations officer with a salary grade level of 15.
Mario Minor, director of the NBI in Caraga, said it was an entrapment carried out because of a complaint from the provincial government of Agusan del Sur about the activities of fixers at the LTO. He said the capitol sent the complaint to the NBI last month.
Minor said Sangcopan’s case pertained to the processing of driving licenses. Minor alleged that the suspect demanded P3 thousand from each applicant when the LTO fee is only P818.
“We conducted our investigation to validate the complaint for a few days,” he said.
Minor said the NBI then fielded an agent who posed as a license applicant to inquire about the requirements. While inside the LTO office, he was allegedly told that the “fastest way” of processing the license was for him to shell out P 3 thousand.
“From that point, we planned the entrapment,” he said.
Minor said the agent returned the same morning and proceeded to the desk of Sangcopan where he allegedly gave the marked money.
Minor said NBI agents pounced on Sangcopan as soon as he allegedly received the marked money.
Minor said Sangcopan would be charged with violation of RA 9485 or the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, RA 3019 or the Anti-Corrupt Practices Act, and Provincial Ordinance No. 15 which bans fixers within the premises of all national line agencies in Agusan del Sur.
Maria Kristina Cassion, regional spokesperson of the the Department of Tranportation in Caraga, said there is an ongoing administrative investigation into Sangcopan’s activities.
“Sangcopan is currently being investigated by DOTR over his alleged involvement in extortion activities. We have video evidence that show individuals manning the supposedly closed LTO office in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. The arrested suspect acted as chief of the closed Bayugan LTO office. We are now preparing to file formal administrative charges against Sangcopan,” said Cassion.