Like the Philippine National Police (PNP) which has Ninja Cops among its rank-and-file, the LTFRB has also Ninja Fixers among its personnel and officials. While they differ in their composition and mode of operation, that is, ninja cops operate against people involved in illegal drugs, the ninja fixers operate illegally for people involved in securing irregular PUV franchises. The difference between them however, stops there.
For, both these ninjas share the same operational vision and objective, that is, all for the purpose of money; they bank on the same support, if not direct involvement, of their immediate higher-ups to perpetuate and continue the wrongdoings that they do; both also make use of the uncompromising aspects of the law or regulations to exact rewards from their victims; and, both are unmindful of themselves, their organizations and the fate of their families and children when they bungled in their operations. These are just a few of what are common in them as ninjas.
The ninja fixers have been there existing somehow as early as during the time of the BOT or Board of Transportation, the forerunner of the LTFRB. But, it probably gathered momentum when LTFRB was established on 19 June 1986 and simultaneously thereafter upon the creation of the LTFRB Regional Offices in the country, manned to the core mostly by retained personnel of the BOT.
It was to the credit though of the first Chairman of the LTFRB, Judge now Justice Remedios Fernando, that the ninja fixers was almost eradicated when Chairman Fernando adopted a close disciplinary control of the personnel of the Board en banc and in the Regional Offices. The loosening of control and discipline under the succeeding LTFRB Chairmen, however, gave birth to the existence of more potent ninja fixers, both in the Board en banc and Regional Offices.
In due time, more corruption perpetrated by ninja fixers became rampant and intense and resulted in the sale of decisions and CPCs to the highest bidder especially in contested cases for resolution of the Board en banc. The situation sort of alarmed me since meritorious cases were usually decided in favor of the parties sponsored by ninja fixers.
Thus, I was constrained to recommend the thorough investigation of the Board for the purpose of overhauling its unwanted system and proceedings, but most of all, to stop the corruption in the Board. My abbreviated letter thereof to the late Secretary Mendoza is hereto reprinted following, to prove my point.
4 June 2009
TO: The Hon. Leandro R. Mendoza
Secretary, D O T C
Ortigas Ave., Mandaluyong City
Subject: Urgent Request to Examine / Investigate
The Irregularities in the Administrative and
Quasi-Judicial Functioning of the LTFRB.
To put it quite frankly, Mr. Secretary, the present LTFRB en banc is no longer the same Board or agency that we knew and whom we would praise and
gave respect for its efficiency, honesty and fairness in the performance of administrative and quasi-judicial functions. It has gone a long way to ruin the good name, honor and prestige that its predecessors had painstakingly founded
Not only that it can no longer resolve and decide cases in the prescribed period or reasonable time, it even appears that such resolutions and decisions in contested cases are now for sale, that is, if we go by the fact that these resolution and decisions granting CPCs are being promulgated by the Board:
a) Even with lack of compliance to jurisdictional requirements, or
b) In the absence of essential documentary requirements, or;
c) In violation of DOTC policies and LTFRB rules or;
d) In the absence of complete records of the cases or;
e) Even in violation of due process entitled the aggrieved party.
Worse, Mr. Secretary, mere applications for extension of validity of CPCs take more than 3 to 5 years or even more, to be processed or approved. Likewise, motions for reconsideration in contested cases remain unresolved for years, up to four (4) years and running. For this reason, the board is able to perpetrate its questionable, unfair and unjust decisions for years and perhaps forever, to the prejudice and damage of prior operators who are deprived of protection in their investment and who are made to suffer from great reduction in income, as what happened and still happening in our cases.
It was precisely these reasons or causes that goaded us to write a letter to the former Chairman, Gen. Lantion, on June 19, 2008, to request him to conduct a formal investigation of the irregularities in the conduct of quasi-judicial and administrative proceedings in the Board. Unfortunately, despite his being a peemayer, he did not act on it in his time until he left the Board, copy of which letter had been previously furnished the Honorable Secretary.
We will be more than willing to submit documentary evidences and to testify in the investigation that will be made hereof, if any.
Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary.
Atty. James S. Valeros