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DOTr Chief Bautista files cyberlibel raps vs. Manibela president, former journalist
DOTr Chief Bautista files cyberlibel raps vs. Manibela president, former journalist
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DOTr Chief Bautista files cyberlibel raps vs. Manibela president, former journalist
by Ellicia Del Mundo17 October 2023
Photo courtesy: Department of Transportation

Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista filed cyberlibel charges against Manibela President Mar Valbuena and former journalist Ira Panganiban before the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

In an interview with the media, Bautista said Valbuena and Panganiban had accused him of being involved in the alleged corruption inside the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)

"Nag-file ako ng [cyber] libel charge against two people, one si Mar Malbuena at saka si Ira Panganiban. Marami silang accusations na ako raw ay kumkamkam ng pera, suhol, fixer," he said.

"Hindi naman totoo kaya gusto ko lang protektahan yung aking pangalan na inalagaan ko for almost 45 years," Bautista added.

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The DOTr Chief mentioned that Panganiban had claimed on a Facebook post that he was involved in the alleged corruption.

"Inilabas niya sa Facebook niya na ang DOTr daw [...] sinasabing ako daw ay involved sa katiwaliaan na tumanggap daw ako ng pera," he said.

When asked if he had talked to former LTFRB Executive Assistant Jeff Tumbado, Bautista said they conversed through a telephone call.

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Tumbado earlier exposed the illegal transactions such as "ruta for sale" and "special permit for sale" were widespread within the LTFRB and alleged that Guadiz and DOTr and Malacañang Palace had encouraged these. However, a few days later, he executed an affidavit of recantation in which he claimed that he was just "encouraged by some individuals" to make such an accusation.

"Tumawag siya [Tumbado] sa akin, wala raw siyang statement na ako ay may involvement sa katiwalian. Ayun yung tinawag niya sa akin. Alam mo si Tumbado, hindi ko siya kilala. Hindi ko matandaan kung na-meet ko na siya," he said.

The DOTr Chief said they now have the initial results of their internal investigation on the alleged irregularities in the LTFRB, but noted that they will reveal this in some time.

Meanwhile, in a brief statement posted on Manibela's official Facebook page, Valbuena said the case filed against him was "purely harassment."

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"Cybercrime daw po ang ikinaso sa atin. Purely harassment sa atin mga ka MANIBELA🇵🇭 tuloy ang laban!," he said.

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