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MANILA, Philippines – Days after he boldly alleged corruption all the way to the Office of the President (OP), former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) official Jeff Tumbado recanted his claim, calling it a case of “irrational thinking” and “poor decision-making.”
“After a careful reflection and deliberation, it is my honest desire to reiterate whatever allegations may have been said during the press conference on October 9, 2023, where the public declaration was made were all unintentional and misguided,” Tumbado said in an affidavit of recantation signed on Wednesday, October 11.
“All of the things said were borne out of impulse, irrational thinking, misjudgement, poor decision making and was encouraged by some individuals to make the statement which may have added to my confusion and affected my better judgment,” Tumbado said in the document obtained by Rappler.
Tumbado earlier alleged that LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III was at the center of a “lagayan scheme,” where he regularly accepted bribes of up to P5 million in exchange for the speedy approval of special permits, franchises, and modifications of routes. (READ: From LTFRB to Malacañang: Insider says Teofilo Guadiz at center of bribes)
The former LTFRB official – who served as the agency’s head of communications and Guadiz’s executive assistant – made these accusations during a press conference organized by the transport group Manibela, the group behind the jeepney transport strikes in March and July, as well as the planned strike on October 16.
During that press conference, Tumbado also said that he was planning to file cases against the alleged corrupt officials within the week.
But that all seems to be off the table now with Tumbado’s latest statement, as he apologized to all those who might have been affected by his allegations.
“I have issued this sworn affidavit as a form of public apology in favor of Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III, Secretary Jaime Bautista of the Department of Transportation, and to the Office of the President,” he said. “I have no malicious intention to besmirch the integrity and reputation of any one.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Bautista categorically denied involvement in any form of corruption since taking the top position in the transportation department. (READ: DOTr chief Bautista denies corruption allegations: ‘I never accepted any money or favor’)
Bautista also said that he was also eyeing formal complaints against those who have been “maligning” him. The secretary did not name names, but the latest to hurl accusations against him were Manibela and Tumbado.
Although Tumbado has withdrawn his accusations, he maintains that there were still problems in the agency.
“However, I still stand by the issue that there is indeed problems in the agency concerned that requires immediate investigation by authorities concerned and those responsible be held accountable,” he stated in the affidavit.
He did not specify what these “problems” or who those “authorities concerned” were.
Meanwhile, Guadiz was still suspended after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered him out of the position on Monday, October 9, citing “alleged corruption under his leadership.” Mercy Leynes, a former LTFRB board member, was appointed as the officer-in-charge of the agency. – Rappler.com