Poe panel’s draft report recommends charges vs Abaya for MRT mess

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 08:10 PM February 03, 2016

Senator Grace Poe and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya. FILE PHOTOS BY JOSEPH VIDAL/PRIB

A 45-PAGE draft report  by the Senate  subcommittee on public services being chaired by Senator Grace Poe has recommended the filing of appropriate charges against Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and other transportation officials for their “negligence “and “inactions” that resulted  in the  problems in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system.

The draft report was signed by Poe and submitted to Senator Serge Osmeña as head of the Senate committee on public services.  A copy of it was released to the media though email early Wednesday evening.


READ: Abaya to be sued for MRT mess – Poe

“In the course of the inquiry with regard to malfunction problem of the MRT3, the subcommittee observed the  badges of negligence and inactions of the Department of Transportation and Communications officials led by Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya indicating insensitiveness, callous indifference, and act disadvantageous to the  commuters, the Filipino public and the government,”  said the draft  report.


“This report of the subcommittee should be submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Justice and the Civil Service Commission for appropriate actions and must be considered as initial leads as there are strong indications of violations of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as “the Anti-Graft and  Corrupt Practices Act,” it added.

The draft report then cited pertinent provisions of the  law that  “could have been violated by  DOTC officials involved directly on  MRT3 operations.”

“The  government must be sensitive and must care for the Filipino commuters. Our leaders are responsible for improving our transportation system,”  it said.

“The need to address this is urgent  as our transportation infrastructure is  greatly tied with our economic development. It is through  public transportation that the ordinary citizens are able to go to and from work and it is important that we continue  to find solutions to enhance the safety and efficiency of our transportation system,”  the draft added.

The  other  observations and recommendations  of the subcommittee are  the following:

*  The  enactment  of the National  Transportation  Safety Board as the central independent agency of the Philippine government that would envision achieving the highest  standards of excellence in investigating  transportation  issues, including aviation and surface transportation  disasters and prevent  the loss of lives through its thorough, accurate and  independent investigations, results and recommendations of which shall be forwarded to Congress and concerned government agencies for proper action.

* As a short-term action,  if there are service interruptions, vouchers for refund of fares must be implemented, there should be shuttle buses on standby to transport the stranded passengers, umbrellas and “tolda” must be available to ease the discomfort  of the riding public  while queuing.


* Consider the possibility of forging a termination  to arbitration to buy out.

“It has been  the request of the subcommittee that the  parties meet, iron out and sort their differences with the possibility of  terminating the arbitration and the  possibility of the buyout and the  proposal of rehabilitating the MRT3, at no cost to the  government, taking  into the consideration of the welfare of the Filipino commuters,” said the draft  report.

“The awarding  of contracts,  be it for maintenance or new LRVs (Light Rail Vehicles), must be inspired by the government’s desire to improve  the MRT3, the welfare of the  riding public, and not due to the DOTC’s mistrust towards  the MRTC (Metro Rail Transit Corporation).”

The  recommendations were the  result of five hearings  and one  ocular inspection conducted by Poe’s panel.

The draft report  has to get  the signatures of the majority  of the committee members  before  it is transmitted to the plenary  for either approval or adoption. But even  before  it could reach the plenary, Congress already  adjourned its session this Wednesday night and it will resume  after the election period.

Poe, who is running for president in May, has long been  calling for either the resignation or dismissal of Abaya, who happens to be  a partymate of her rival, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

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