Espino filing raps vs. BTAO head, 3 others, plans corruption probe

Councilor Al Victor Espino at a press conference on Monday.*

Bacolod Councilor Al Victor Espino said on Monday, October 23, that he is filing a libel case against the head of the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office, a job order worker, and two alleged witnesses who claimed that he threatened the JO with a gun.

To be included in the case are BTAO head Maj. Junjie Liba, JO Abner Salvallon and their witnesses, which will be filed at the end of the week or early next week, Espino said.

Espino said his legal team is also exploring all other possible legal remedies, charges will not be limited to just a libel case.

Liba, when asked for his reaction, said “everyone has their own opinion”.

Espino said the Sangguniang Panlungsod committees on Laws and Transportation and Traffic, which he heads, will also conduct an inquiry into alleged corruption within the BTAO

Abner Salvallon had filed the complaint against Espino before Bacolod Police Station 8 for grave threats for allegedly threatening him with a gun at the BTAO on Wednesday , October 19.

Espino denied threatening Salvallon with a gun in the presence of Liba. Espino said if he threatened Salvallon with a gun why did Liba who is a police officer not arrest him.

Espino said he went to the BTAO because of a “corruption” incident.

The nephew of his friend who is a college student had gone to the BTAO to recover his impounded motorcycle when someone wearing a BTAO shirt told him that his vehicle could be released if he paid P1,500.

The student paid the P1,500 and the motorcycle was released to him from the BTAO holding area. No one stopped him as he drove away, Espino said.

However, shortly after the student received a call from an alleged BTAO person who told him that they knew where he lived and that he would be arrested and charged with carnapping, Espino added.

When the student went back to the BTAO he was detained and asked to pay a fine again, the councilor said.

Liba is aware of what happened and no proper investigation was conducted, Espino said.

He also questioned why the BTAO was receiving payments for impounded vehicles at 5:30 p.m. when the City Treasurer’s Office special cashier assigned to do that leaves at 3 p.m. to report to the CTO.

Espino also said he heard that the BTAO citation tickets were not printed by the printer of the CTO, but was undertaken by Liba.

Espino said he believes there is corruption happening at the BTAO and what is adding to his frustration is Liba is not doing anything about it.

He will file a resolution at the SP on Wednesday for the conduct of the hearing on the alleged corruption at the BTAO, Espino said.

The councilor said his legal team is composed of lawyers Dindo Ramos, Japheth Cua, Mark Mayo, Benedict Ledesma and Caesar Distrito.*

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