Pangilinan thinks there is ‘cover up’ in DOTr case vs ex-Cabinet men
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is sensing a “cover up” in the filing of plunder charges against Cabinet members of former President Beningo S. Aquino III over the alleged anomalous Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) maintenance deal.
Pangilinan made a comparison between the case filed against Aquino’s men and the cases involving officials of the current administration.
“When we compare this to the plunder case filed against 9 Cabinet secretaries of former President Aquino and 3 undersecretaries, there seems to be a cover-up. Is this negligence or incompetence?” Pangilinan, president of Liberal Party, asked in a statement issued on Wednesday.
For instance, Pangilinan cited the case of Supt. Marvin Marcos, who was charged in connection with the 2016 killing of former Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
Marcos, he said, was not only reinstated but he was even promoted.
The senator also cited the extortion case of Immigration Deputy Commissioners Al Argosino and Michael Robles involving almost P50 million; and the P64-billion shabu smuggling case involving former Customs officials Gerardo Gambala and Milo Maestrecampo, who were only transferred to another government agency even if they have not yet been cleared.
“Critics are silenced, allies go scot-free,” Pangilinan lamented.
Nevertheless, Pangilinan expressed faith that the Office of the Ombudsman could provide objectivity on this matter.
“Despite all these, we trust that the Ombudsman will be fair and render impartial justice. We are confident that the former secretaries accused of wrongdoing will be able to defend and exonerate themselves,” he said.
Among those charged before the Office of the Ombudsman over the MRT-3 mess were former Transportation Secretaries Mar Roxas and Joseph Emilio Abaya.
Taking a swipe at a promised change of the new administration, Pangilinan also questioned the worsening situation of commuters lining up at MRT stations.
“When change is promised, the line and the wait at the MRT should be shorter, not longer. And the primary consideration should be that commuters are safe, not having their arms cut off or the coaches decoupled,” he said.
“When the issue is shifted from the quiet, everyday suffering of commuters who only want to get to work or school or home, it is not simply disrespectful, it is deception,” Pangilinan said. /kga
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