LTO Revokes License of Abusive Grab Driver
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has revoked the Professional driver's license of a driver for Grab Philippines for inappropriate behavior against a female passenger while aboard the vehicle.
LTO National Capital Region (NCR) West Regional Director and concurrent Acting Director for Law Enforcement Service (LES) Atty. Clarence 'Chuck' V. Guinto recommended the revocation of Anselmo B. Benigno's license through a Resolution.
LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar C. Galvante approved the recommendation last week on August 22, 2019.
According to Atty. Guinto, the LTO found Benigno's unacceptable behavior tantamount to acts of "an improper person to operate a motor vehicle," pursuant to Section 27 (a) of Republic Act 4136, or the Land Transportation and Traffic Code.
"Mr. Benigno abused his privilege to drive and failed to comply with the conduct necessary for the continued possession and enjoyment of the said privilege," Guinto said.
The revocation of the license stemmed from the complaint of the victim which she posted on her Twitter account.
In her account, the victim said that her father booked a ride for her using Grab. She narrated that she was feeling sick so she slept during the ride home. While sleeping, she said that the driver tried to lift her skirt. She felt his finger under the skirt as if he was about to peek. It was then when she sat up and tried to talk calmly.
Upon learning about the incident, the LTO issued a Show Cause Order against Benigno.
The victim formalized her complaint through a notarized Affidavit of Complaint for acts of lasciviousness against Benigno.
The LTO sent several notices to Benigno and his operator for them to appear during the set hearings at the LTO Central Office in Quezon City, and to submit a verified explanation/comment on the complaint. In a phone call, Benigno said that he will no longer drive for Grab.
Despite the notices, Benigno failed to attend the hearings and to provide an explanation/comment.
"By not attending the hearing, Mr. Benigno has waived his right to be heard. The LTO was constrained to rule on the charges based on the evidence on hand," Guinto noted.
In the course of the investigation, the victim was able to convince the LTO that Benigno abused his duty as a public utility driver. He took advantage of the victim by trying to sexually molest her since she was indisposed during the incident.
Thus, the recommendation for the revocation of Benigno's driver’s license.
The LTO said that a copy of the case records shall be forwarded to the Taguig PNP for appropriate criminal action.
Moreover, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) shall also be furnished a copy of the said records for appropriate action/s as regards to the employer/s of the driver.
Guinto said, "It must be remembered that in hiring a professional driver, the employer has the obligation to exercise extra due diligence."
He reiterates that having a driver’s license is a privilege and not a right. As a privilege, it may be forfeited once it is abused.