Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Roxas’ has major fault in MRT3 mess, is invited to Senate hearing

Senate committee on public services chairperson Senator Grace Poe invited former Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Mar Roxas to the senate hearings on the irregularities of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 because it was largely under his five-year term as DOTr Secretary that the change of contract happened.

Former MRT3 General Manager Al Vitangcol testified in court the transaction that happened in the maintenance deal with PH Trams during Roxas’ term which prompted Poe to invite Roxas into the hearings.

"Dahil nga nabanggit ang kanyang pangalan ng ilang beses at siya ay opisyal na nakaupo nung nag-lapse ang [maintenance] contract, dapat lamang na pumunta siya rito at ipapatawag natin," Poe said.

The maintenance deal was awarded to PH Trams, without public bidding, after the contract with original maintenance provider Sumitomo ended on October 19, 2012. Roxas was DOTr Secretary from July 4, 2011 to October 18, 2012.

Roxas' successor at the DOTr, Joseph Emilio Abaya divulged that he was not knowledgeable of the contract details by the time he had to sign the deal with PH Trams. For fear of having no maintenance provide for the MRT3, Abaya hastily sealed the deal.

Abaya had only been three days in office when he had to quickly decide on the PH Trams contract.

On the part of Roxas, Vitangcol said that the office consistently reminded Roxas of the imminent contract expiration with Sumitomo.

The former manager first wrote a letter addressed to Roaxs on May 17, 2012, but received no reply. He personally followed up the nearing expiration of Sumitomo’s contract afterwards, but again, no response.

To add to that, the MRT Corporation also forwarded the issue to Roxas around July 2012 and even offered to secure the maintenance provider for five years, but still Roxas did not give any response.

It was not until the contract was to lapse in two weeks that Roxas acted on the contract and gave the deal to PH Trams.

"Dahil sinabi ni Al Vitangcol na nagpadala ng liham, may pruweba daw siya na nagpadala kay Secretary Mar Roxas, gusto natin malaman kay Secretary Roxas bakit pinabayaan ang lapse ng contract ng Sumitomo at 'di pinayagan ang proper bidding habang siya'y nakaupo. Iniwan niya kay Secretary Abaya na pumirma ng kasunduan, tatlong araw pa lang pinirmahan niya na," Poe said.

Poe had raised several arguments regarding the business integrity of PH Trams, pointing out that it was a new company with a small starting capital.

Allegations point that it might have been because PH Trams chief is Marlo dela Cruz who is closely linked with the Liberal Party.

"Kaya nga eh parang nananadya eh. Ano ba ito, sinadya o naging pabaya? 'Yung dalawang bagay na 'yun, kasalanan 'yun. Paglabag 'yun sa iyong responsibilidad bilang kalihim. Mabigat na paratang ito," Poe said.

Source: Rappler


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