MANILA — Senator Grace Poe on Tuesday lauded the effort of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to file plunder charges against nine cabinet members of former president Benigno S. Aquino III before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the alleged anomalous contract between Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) and Busan Universal Railways Inc. (BURI).
“We should let the ax fall where it should. I believe the DOTr has exercised due diligence in reviewing the issues with BURI, strong enough to come up with a case against those involved,” Poe said in a press statement.
Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said that her committee’s investigation revealed that the award by MRT-3 of its maintenance contractor to (BURI) was “anomalous and disadvantageous to the public.”
She pointed out that the MRT-3’s poor maintenance service and the daily technical glitches had resulted in fewer functioning coaches and long passenger queues.
The senator also stressed that it was clear that there were individuals who appeared to have “favored an incompetent maintenance provider and in mismanaging the train system.”
“They should see this as an opportunity for them to clear their names,” Poe said.
Poe, meanwhile, said she expects that the Ombudsman would act “expeditiously” on the case.
“Every day of delay means distress and hardship for our riding public. We can only achieve justice for our people by making those responsible for their woes accountable,” she added.
Named as respondents in the plunder complaints were former Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and former Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Roxas served as DOTC secretary prior to his appointment as DILG secretary.
Also charged were former Department of Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad, former Department of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, former Department of Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, former Department of Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, former Department of National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, and former National Economic and Development Authority Secretary Arsenio Balicasan.
DOTr also named former DOTC undersecretaries Edwin Lopez, Rene Limcaoco and Catherine Gonzales as respondents.
A certain Marlo dela Cruz, Bids and Awards Committee members, and officials of the former MRT-3 maintenance contractor, the Busan Universal Rail Inc., were also included in the complaint.
This was the third complaint lodged against Abaya before the Ombudsman in connection with the BURI maintenance contract for MRT-3. PNA-northboundasia.com