MANILA – The Land Transportation Office (LTO) on Tuesday issued a show-cause order to the operator and driver of a cargo truck seen illegally transporting passengers beyond established checkpoints, from Ragay, Camarines Sur to Tagkawayan, Quezon.
The order was issued to a certain Marvin Salvador, the registered owner of the Isuzu Forward Truck with plate number CTJ694, and the truck’s driver.
Salvador and the truck driver are facing violations of Section 7 of Republic Act 4136, “a private motor vehicle operating as for hire,” and the Inter-Agency Task Force’s rules on health protocols.
A video circulated on social media showing a truck full of people being unloaded and herded into colorum vans plying the Quezon – Bicol route, disregarding the government’s health and safety protocols.
The incident was said to have occurred on Sunday midnight, with many of the passengers seen not wearing masks or face shields.
“It is further aggravated by the fact that as of April 5, there are now 78 passengers mostly from colorum vans tested positive for Covid-19, through RT-PCR test,” the order read.
In a statement, DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade urged transport and law enforcement agencies as well as local governments to “act with urgency” against “Covid-19 smuggling” or the trucking companies and colorum vehicles that smuggle untested individuals into the NCR plus quarantine bubble.
“Dapat itigil ito. Kinukomprumiso nila ang buong sambayanan. Lahat ng paghihirap natin sa testing, isolation at treatment mawawala dahil dito sa kagaguhan at kalokohan na ginagawa nito (This must be stopped. They are compromising the entire country. All of our efforts in testing, isolation, and treatment will be for nothing because of their foolishness),” Tugade said.
Both Salvador and the driver were ordered to appear and submit an “affidavit of explanation” to the LTO Regional Office in Legazpi City, Albay on April 12.
“Failure to appear and submit the affidavit of explanation will compel this office to resolve the matter based on the available evidence on record,” the order read.
The truck involved in the incident is placed “under alarm” while it is under investigation to bar its registration.