MANILA – Assistant Secretary Atty. Vigor Mendoza II, Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief, on Wednesday directed the LTO 3 regional director to promptly initiate administrative actions against its traffic enforcer who, along with an accomplice, was arrested by the police for robbery extortion in an entrapment operation in San Fernando City on July 21.

The police identified the suspects as Kristofferson Canlas, 41, who works at the LTO Law Enforcement Office in Region 3, and his cohort Roderich Catahan, a resident of Angeles City.

Mendoza gave specific instructions to the retired Police Brig. Gen. Ronnie S. Montejo, the LTO Office 3 regional director, to include their immediate superior office as a co-respondent under the doctrine of command responsibility.

He also instructed Montejo to impose a preventive suspension on the arrested LTO personnel pending investigation, considering the reported acts/offense’s “grave nature.”

The newly installed LTO chief also directed Montejo to ensure that the administrative proceedings are heard and decided within 90 days.

Additionally, he instructed the conduct of an audit inventory on the handheld device and manual TOP issued to the respondent, as well as the recall of all government property/equipment, including the handheld device and firearm that were issued.

Montejo has been given 10 days to submit actions taken as well as initial compliance.

Police revealed that the two suspects were apprehended for robbery extortion during an entrapment operation in Barangay Maimpis, San Fernando City, Pampanga on July 21.

The operation was conducted in response to a complaint lodged against the suspects by the victim, Rolly Nabong, a businessman and a resident of Tabuyoc, Apalit, Pampanga.

Before the police operation, it was discovered that Canlas had apprehended a truck driver for operating a colorum vehicle. A negotiation to settle the fine at PHP70,000 was reached, but instead of paying the money, the driver reported the incident to the police, leading to the subsequent entrapment operation.

Confiscated from the suspects were buy-bust money, PHP10,600 cash, 9mm pistol and ammunition, assorted knives, cellphones and a silver Toyota Vios with plate number ABJ 6114.

The arrested suspects, along with the confiscated pieces of evidence, were taken to the Police Regional Office 3. Appropriate charges are set to be filed against them. (PNA)