WHAT WENT BEFORE: Abaya and the MRT contract
On Oct. 23, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) filed a complaint for graft against former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and executives of a Filipino-Korean joint venture over a P4.2-billion maintenance contract for Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3).
In the complaint, the DOTr accused Abaya and several other former officials of the former Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) of conspiring to award the contract to the joint venture Busan Universal Rail Inc. (Buri).
The case stemmed from Abaya’s undated Special Order No. 2015-059, that cleared the way for a negotiated bidding for the MRT 3 maintenance contract.
The contract eventually went to Busan JV, a joint venture involving Busan Transportation Corp. of South Korea, local companies Edison Development and Construction, Tramat Mercantile Inc., TMICorp. Inc. and Castan Inc.
Buri was incorporated by the five companies on Jan. 4, 2016, just three days before the maintenance contract was signed on Jan. 7, 2016.
On Nov. 20, 2017, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares filed a graft complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman against Abaya and several others over alleged irregularities in the maintenance contract as they chose a maintenance provider that “utterly lacks the financial capability and technical expertise.”
The next day, the DOTr filed plunder cases in the Ombudsman against 30 respondents, including Abaya, for allegedly conspiring to rig the procurement of MRT 3 contracts in favor of Buri and two maintenance providers linked to Marlo de la Cruz, an incorporator of both PH Trams and Global APT and Buri.
De la Cruz was reportedly allied with the Liberal Party and won the bids for the maintenance of MRT 3 trains even without a track record and despite his small capital. —INQUIRER RESEARCH
SOURCE: INQUIRER ARCHIVES
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