Palace to pursue fresh cases vs ex-DOTC execs over MRT-3 mess
New cases may be filed against former officials of the erstwhile Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) over the sorry state of the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3), Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that during the Cabinet meeting on Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the Solicitor General to go after former DOTC officials over the recurring problems that the MRT-3 continue to experience.
“There was a decision that cases will be pursued for those behind the miserable performance of MRT-3,” Roque said in a press briefing.
“There are pending complaints for plunder against officials of the previous administration, specifically for awarding the maintenance contract to a company with absolutely no track record,” he added.
Roque said that the new cases would be separate from the charges filed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in November 2017.
The DOTr filed plunder cases before the Ombudsman against former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya over the alleged anomalous maintenance contract for the MRT-3.
The DOTr alleged that Roxas and Abaya were the main conspirators in the scheme that involved the P3.8 million MRT maintenance contract of the government with Korean contractor, Busan Universal Rail, Inc. (BURI).
Roque said former Aquino administration officials are liable for the current MRT-3 mess as they awarded the maintenance contract to BURI, which he claimed to have no track record and failed to deliver its contract obligations.
“I think we know already that it includes the former Transportation secretary, that includes even Mr. Mar Roxas, it includes Budget Secretary Butch Abad and among others. This is for the award of the contract to a company with absolutely no track record; a company that was obligated to repair 26 coaches and they only delivered two; and they even supplied the wrong signaling system,” he said.
In order to address the train line’s underlying problems, the DOTr rehired MRT-3’s previous maintenance contractor, Japan’s Sumitomo Corp.
The public has criticized the DOTr for its failure to address the perennial problem affecting the trains and its commuters over worn out electrical components. /jpv
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