Three men were arrested yesterday for operating an illegal terminal for unlicensed (or colorum) passenger vans in Caloocan.
Colorum passenger vehicles are vans, buses, and taxis that operate without obtaining a license from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTRFB), a government agency. Drivers of colorum vehicles are usually apprehended by the police.
ABS-CBN identified the terminal owner as Albert Bacalzo, and his cohorts as drivers Geoffrey Sabinada and Teddy Alhambra.
According to Manila Bulletin, the three men allegedly operated the ARB Transport Terminal Balifoda Incorporated in Deparo, Caloocan. To use the terminal, each colorum vehicle owner has to pay the group a membership fee of PHP80,000 (more than US$1,478) as well as a daily amount of PHP700 (US$12.93).
Bacalzo reportedly told the owners of the colorum vehicles that, aside from using the terminal, members are also protected from getting arrested by the police, reported The Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The three were caught during an operation in which a cop posed as an owner of a passenger vehicle. He told Bacalzo that he was interested in buying a spot at the terminal.
Bacalzo was arrested as soon as he accepted the money from the police, while his associates were told to disembark from their respective vehicles.
The authorities also confiscated all the vehicles parked at the terminal, and owners have to pay PHP200,000 (more than US$3,696) to get them back.
At a press conference held after the arrest, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III was quoted by the Manila Bulletin as saying: “We will remain firm in our fight against colorum [vehicles]. Remember, every colorum vehicle traveling the road puts the lives of the commuters in danger, and every colorum vehicle takes away opportunities to those who are legally working.”