Speaker blasts Transportation execs over MRT-LRT common station
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday scolded two Department of Transportation (DOTr) officials for allegedly favoring certain business interests in determining the location of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) common station.
A fuming Alvarez attended a transportation committee hearing at the House of Representatives to castigate Undersecretary for Air Operations Bobby Lim and Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Raoul Creencia.
Alvarez suspects that Lim and Creencia allowed the common station to be built near Trinoma mall of the Ayalas to favor some businessmen. He earlier called on the two to resign for conflict of interest.
“Hindi niyo ba kami niloloko diyan? Baka ang dahilan, mayroong ina-accommodate na business interests,” Alvarez said in a raised voice. (Are you kidding? Perhaps, the reason is to accommodate certain business interests.)
“Huwag na tayo maglokohan,” he added. (Let’s not fool ourselves)
Alvarez said the previous location near SM North Edsa, which was presented to the committee by minority leader Danilo Suarez, was more convenient to the public because it was near a public terminal.
Alvarez said that while the planned common station would cost government P2.8 billion, the location near SM North would cost only P500 million because SM already paid P200 million for the naming rights.
“Saan yung interest ng gobyerno dun?” Alvarez said.
He said the location near SM would also ensure “seamless” connection of the Light Rail Transit Line 1, the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 and the soon to be built MRT Line 7.
‘Yung win-win solution n’yo is between SM and Trinoma. Paano papasok sa equation yung riding public?” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said interested bidders had surely cornered their share of the project. He did not elaborate.
“Maghahati-hati kung sino yung mga interested parties na gusto mag-bid. Nag-uusap-usap na yan. Huwag na natin lokohin sarili natin,” Alvarez later said in a press conference.
During the hearing, Creencia said the location near Trinoma was a product of technical studies that would ensure convenience to the riding public.
“Huwag na tayo maglokohan. You’re wasting our time. Yung technical study, that is a justification dun sa gusto niyong mangyari,” Alvarez retorted.
Alvarez warned the officials to brace themselves for cases in court. CBB
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