MANILA--Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Executive Director Samuel Jardin on Monday dubbed as "fabricated" an allegation that he solicited P4.8 million for a franchise application, which led to his preventive suspension.
"Iyung sinumpaang salaysay ni Michelle Sapangila ay fabricated at puro kasinungalingan, he told radio DZMM.
(The sworn statement of Michelle Sapangila is fabricated and full of lies.)
Sapangila is not a franchise applicant or operator, he said, adding that he has no staff member named Lolit.
Complainant Sapangila, in a sworn statement, claimed that a certain "Madam Lolit" asked for the bribe that will allegedly be split between Jardin and LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra for the issuance of a Route Measured Capacity.
Jardin had been suspended for 90 days to give way to an impartial investigation into the accusation.
Franchise applications are processed by the LTFRB legal division and approved by the board, leaving him with the sole duty of reviewing the decision and affixing his signature, Jardin said.
"Wala naman tayong role sa proseso ng application except iyung parang notary public lang," said the official.
(We don't have any role in the application process except as a public notary of sorts.)
"Anong dahilan bakit magbibigay s'ya ng pera sa isang tao na wala namang magawang pabor sa kaniya?" he added.
(Why would you give money to a person who cannot do you any favor?)
The LTFRB's office also has surveillance footage that can disprove Sapangila's claim of handing the money to Solis at a restroom of the agency, Jardin said.
Jardin said he has filed a formal answer to the allegation and appealed for the lifting of his suspension.