MANILA, Philippines – A private prosecutor in the impeachment trial of former President now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is the new head of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
President Benigno Aquino III appointed LTO officer-in-charge Alfonso Tan Jr as the chairperson of the agency, replacing the president’s controversial shooting buddy Virginia Torres.
Executive Secretary Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa Jr sent Tan’s appointment papers to Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Abaya on November 8, the same day Aquino signed the documents.
It was Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who appointed Tan executive director of the LTO when he was still head of the transportation department. Tan joined the LTO in 2011.
Tan was a land adviser at the Office of the Undersecretary for Legal and International Affairs of the environment department. He was also a commissioner at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport International Passenger Terminal 3 Commission.
The new LTO chief was a partner at the Ricasata Law Office and an associate at the Carpio & Villaraza Law Offices. He was also a partner at the Gaston and Tan Law Offices.
He got his law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University.
The LTO has the following functions:
- Inspection and registration of motor vehicles
- Issuance of licenses and permits
- Enforcement of land transportation rules and regulations
- Adjudication of traffic cases
- Collection of revenues for the government
Torres retired in October amid a controversy over a video of her playing in a slot machine at a casino that surfaced in August.
According to Memorandum Circular No. 8 issued by Malacañang on Aug 28, 2001, “All government personnel concerned are prohibited from entering, staying and/or playing at gambling casinos.”
Aquino said he did not force Torres to resign, but said her decision to leave was “the better route.”
Aquino said in October, “[It’s] less stress for her, less stress for her family, and maybe it’s better for the agency which has to attend to everything it has to attend to, because somehow, there was some diversion on their focus and attention.”
The President defended his friend and provincemate amid allegations of corruption.
“She’s older than I am, she’s a woman, you wouldn’t want to give her advice when the situation is already so heavy – that’s making it harder on her.” – Rappler.com