By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY (BicolToday.com/13 Nov 2011) – The oversight committee of the fourth city council of Sorsogon City was left hanging by the non-appearance of Jose Pura, Jr., last Friday, who is accused of allegedly masterminding the issuance of 230 MTOP’s without the franchise as authorized by the Sangguniang Panlungsod.
Instead of appearing the former section chief invoked, through his counsel, Atty. Joven Laura, provisions of RA 7438 that defines the rights of person under custodial investigation as his manifestation of November 10 this year to the city vice-mayor being the presiding chair.
In a separate letter of even date, Pura, Jr. requested the list of MTOP holders in the city, exact number of the tricycle plates produced and those that have been issued, number of tricycle units that have expired MTOP’s that were not renewed and other documents of similar bearings to the officer in-charge of the licensing and permits section, Rodel Ferreras which was seen as a delaying tactics to avoid appearance at the legislative inquiry.
It was understood in the letter that he will only appear upon advised of his counsel and upon availability of the documents he was requesting.
Insiders at the city hall upon knowing of the content of Pura’s Jr. letters were appalled of the tacked that he is posturing. They are in unison why among other things he was requesting documents relative to the MTOP’s issued for he is now in a quandary which documents fall under the MTOP’s without the valid franchise.
They are likewise in agreement that Pura Jr. should spill the beans, no matter the cost for his illegal activities for it deprived them of their integrity as city hall employees.
The resource persons one after another pinpointed the paper trail to the former license and permit section chief. The style of handing the cash inside the folder of the application forms, the straight to the house payment, even using the capitol park as venue of payment, this was revealed by witness Randy Reales during the interpellation by smoking gun Victorino Daria III.
He likewise named Ruel Jintalan who received the money directly from him in consideration of the issuance of MTOP. Jintalan, prior to the bombshell of Reales, when queried by Councilor Roque Divina denied any participation in the scheme, instead positioned himself as a subordinate who was made to follow the order of his immediate superior.
It was further revealed by Councilor Daria that the nine trimobile association who opposed the color coding scheme as embodied in the propose city traffic code of 2011 benefitted from the surplus MTOP’s for most of them become agents in the commission of the illegal acts as in the case of Jose ‘ Tooots” Desunia, president of PTODA who also admitted that he facilitated not less than fifteen units directly with Pura, Jr. Desunia was among those who opposed the scheme.
The officer in-charge, Rodel Ferreras, revealed that there are more than two hundred sets of applications for MTOP’s which he found in the table of his former superior that maybe the subject of investigation and he already informed the office of the city administrator and that of the city mayor of its existence knowing that an investigation team was formed by the city mayor to ferret out the truth of the issued MTOP’s without legitimate franchises. Upon the mayor’s directive, Pura, Jr. and Jintalan were re-assigned to the human resource and management office until the culmination of the investigating team which has 30 days to submit their report. As of last Friday, Pura, Jr. has not forwarded his leave of absence to the personnel department. BicolToday.com
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