PHOTO CAPTION: DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade (right) and LTO chief Edgar Galvante (left) lowered the boom on LTO-6 assistant regional director Arturo Apolinar and relieved him of his duties after Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas complained about the latter for abusive and disrespectful behavior and defiance of the city’s traffic rules./iNews (N. Glenn Aragon/Photo courtesy of ABS-CBN News and Rappler)
ILOILO CITY–It didn’t take very long for the leadership of both the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and its lead agency the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to decide on the fate of controversial LTO-6 Assistant Regional Director Engr. Arturo Apolinar, who continually violated traffic rules even in the presence of traffic aides and defied them when they attempted to issue him citation tickets.
In a text message sent to Iloilo City mayor Jerry Treñas after he complained about the actuations of the embattled LTO-6 official to DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, the Transportation chief informed him that “Gen. Galvante has instructed RD to relieve him po. Thank you, Sir, for letting me know. Stay safe!”
Galvante is LTO chief Edgar Galvante while the “RD” (Regional Director) is LTO-6 director Eric Tabaldo.
In response, Treñas thanked Tugade and Galvante “for your prompt action against someone who in his mind is beyond the law.”
True enough, Tabaldo immediately ordered the relief of Apolinar after he received the call from Galvante.
The said directive for Apolinar’s relief came just a day after Apolinar was seen beating the red light along El 98 in Jaro, Iloilo City. He was flagged down by traffic aides but refused to stop.
Apolinar even motioned for the traffic enforcers to follow him to the LTO-6 office where he reportedly asked them, “Ano? Dakpon n’yo ‘ko [What now? Are you going to arrest me]?”
Earlier, Treñas called the LTO-6 assistant regional director as being abusive of his position and disrespectful to other people.
According to the city chief executive, he has already reported Apolinar’s rude behavior to Tugade, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Sec. Eduardo Año, and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.
He also said they are preparing to file appropriate charges against the erring LTO-6 official.
Treñas added that Apolinar had continually not been complying with traffic rules and that “he doesn’t deserve to stay a minute longer as assistant regional director of a government agency that instills traffic discipline among motorists”.
The city mayor has asked the LTO and the DOTr to discipline Apolinar by reassigning him to a place “that is fitting for him.” (N. Glenn Aragon/iNews)