By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
The suspected maintainer of a “colorum” transport terminal in Caloocan City was arrested earlier Thursday.
The Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) identified the suspect as Albert Bacalzo, alleged maintainer of the ARB Transport Terminal Balifoda Inc. located in Deparo, Caloocan.
Authorities said that Bacalzo’s illegal terminal operates private vehicles plying the routes of Primark Town Center, Bagumbong Road and Deparo, Caloocan City to SM Fairview and Robinsons Mall in Fairview, Quezon City.
It was also found that Bacalzo allegedly demands an P80,000 participation or membership fee from private vehicle owners who use his illegal terminal.
The big amount allegedly covers protection from being apprehended by traffic enforcers, the I-ACT said.
An undercover policeman from the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) posed as a private vehicle owner interested in transacting a spot in Bacalzo’s terminal.
As soon as Bacalzo accepted the marked money, he was arrested by the joint team of operatives.
The HPG was joined by I-ACT members and representative of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) in the operation.
In a press briefing at the HPG Headquarters in Camp Crame later, HPG Acting Director Roberto Fajardo said Bacalzo had gathered more or less 30 members who have a total of about 40 vehicles using the illegal terminal.
Fajardo urged them to file charges against Bacalzo.
For his part, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III said: “We will remain firm in our fight against colorum [vehicles]. Remember, every colorum vehicles travelling the road put the lives of the commuters in danger, and every colorum vehicles take away opportunities to those who are legally working.”