House cites in contempt LTFRB corruption whistleblower Tumbado

Kaycee Valmonte

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House cites in contempt LTFRB corruption whistleblower Tumbado

LAWMAKER. Rep. Rodante Marcoleta during the 2023 budget briefing of the Commission on Human Rights, at the House of Representatives on September 15, 2022.

Angie de Silva/Rappler

Throughout the nearly six-hour hearing, lawmakers threaten to detain Tumbado beyond the original 10 days for continuously giving misleading statements

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives cited in contempt former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) official Jeff Tumbado, who accused the agency and its suspended chief, Teofil Guadiz, of corruption, for failing to substantiate his claims. 

House cites in contempt LTFRB corruption whistleblower Tumbado

In a nearly six-hour inquiry at the lower chamber on Monday, October 23, Tumbado admitted he did not have concrete evidence that would prove his corruption claims against the agency. His affidavit with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) reportedly detailed only his sentiments and did not delve into the LTFRB’s alleged violations.

Tumbado also failed to name those supposedly involved in corruption related to the implementation of the public utility vehicle modernization program. He said he only received reports of agency officials charging PUV operators for services

“I believe the answers supplied by Mr. Tumbado to us for every question asked by its member did not bring any consolation, did not bring any enlightenment on the part of the members of this committee,” said SAGIP Representative Rodante Marcoleta, who moved to cite him in contempt. 

“After each and every question…there has not been basis for us to believe any of his statements and answers or replies to every question,” he added. 

Multiple lawmakers pointed out that Tumbado kept changing his answers, which led to confusion.

House cites in contempt LTFRB corruption whistleblower Tumbado
Reason for recantation

On October 9, Tumbado claimed some LTFRB officials charged operators of PUVs to process requests. This included paperwork involving an operator’s franchise, obtaining special permits, or requests to modify their routes. 

Two days after going public with his claims, Tumbado recanted his statements and denied Guadiz’s involvement in an attempt to absolve his former boss. Tumbado also admitted on Monday that Guadiz was only dragged into the mess because of an earlier argument they had prior to his resignation.

Despite backtracking on his claims against the former LTFRB chief, Tumbado maintained that corruption still existed in the agency. 

House cites in contempt LTFRB corruption whistleblower Tumbado

In his affidavit of recantation, Tumbado said the allegations were “unintentional and misguided,” further explaining that it was borne out of “poor decision-making.” 

While he denied receiving threats to drop his claims, Tumbado’s sworn statement with the NBI said he had since started worrying about his safety and that of his family. –

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Any whistleblower should not underestimate the strength of the Corruption Machinery that he or she is fighting against; otherwise, he or she shall be blown away by the Storm of Corruption.

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Kaycee Valmonte

Kaycee Valmonte is a multimedia reporter who covers politics in the House of Representatives and public health.