The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is demanding that MRT Holdings, Inc. (MRTH) drop its bid against the addition of 48 new train coaches to the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) system.
MRTH is the current controlling shareholder of MRT-3’s contractual owner, the MRT Corporation (MRTC).
Following President Aquino’s State of the Nation Address yesterday, in which he took note of MRTH’s failure to add train cars despite its contractual obligation having long passed without action, the government reiterated what MRT-3 commuters have been calling for: no more delays in the addition of train coaches to the system.
“The riding public deserves a much better MRT-3 than what the private owner is providing. That is why we exercised our political will to add new train cars ourselves. Not only did MRTH fail to add them, they even filed a case to stop us when we did,” DOTC Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said.
“MRTH’s case against DOTC is a case against new trains. It is a case against the public. So we are fighting this case for the public interest,” he added.
MRTH, which used to manage the affairs of MRT-3’s contractual owner MRT Corporation and is now its controlling shareholder, filed a case for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and a permanent injunction against the DOTC to stop the latter from adding new trains to the system back in February 2014.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati initially issued a TRO, but eventually sided with the DOTC and ruled against MRTH.
According to the RTC, apart from the fact that only the Supreme Court may enjoin such a project, public interest must prevail in this case.
MRTH, however, appealed its case to the Court of Appeals (CA), which also sided with the DOTC and the public by denying the same.
The case is still pending with the CA as MRTH is seeking a reconsideration of the appellate court’s decision.