Poe asks Ombudsman to pursue case vs former Transportation chief
Senator Grace Poe has appealed to the Office of the Ombudsman to vigorously pursue the complaint against former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya in the wake of the almost incessant daily glitches hounding the trains of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3).
Poe blamed Abaya anew for the suffering of train commuters, noting that it was the ex-Transportation chief who “decided on all the mess” happening with the MRT-3 system today.
“Secretary Abaya ‘di ka namin nakakalimutan ah, ikaw lahat ang nagdecision ng kapalpakan na ito. Ako’y talagang punong-puno na at nalulungkot para sa ating mga kakabayan,” Poe said in a radio interview over dZmm on Thursday.
“Sa tingin ko, ang magpapaibsan sa sama ng loob ng ating mga kakaabayan ay mapagbayad natin itong mga tao na naging dahilan kung bakit tayo nagkaroon ng problem na ganito.”
“Umaapela nga ako sa Ombudsman. Pwede ba? Ituloy niyo na ‘yung kaso na ‘yan kay Secretary Abaya. Ang tagal-tagal na yan,” the senator added.
In November 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has filed a plunder complaint against Abaya and other members of the Aquino administration’s Cabinet over the MRT-3 mess before the Office of the Ombudsman.
“This is actually in response to the public clamor and cry for accountability for the dismal state of our train system,” Reinier Yebra, DOTr undersecretary for legal affairs and procurement, had said.
Also, various organizations accused Abaya and other former transportation officials of graft and violation of the government procurement law similarly due to the problems plaguing the MRT-3.
Poe said that DOTr officials would likely be invited to a Senate hearing soon to present their timetable for the repair and improvement of MRT-3 trains.
In 2017, the MRT-3 suffered more than 500 glitches.