• ‘LP officials used influence in MRT-3 deals’

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    SOME members of the Liberal Party (LP) reportedly played a major part in two major contracts entered into by the Transportation department concerning the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) during the previous administration.

    At the resumption of the hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services on the problems of the MRT3, Roehl Bacar, president of CB&T, the partner of PH Trams that won the negotiated bid to maintain and repair MRT3 trains in August 2012, disclosed that the LP was key in bagging the multi-million contract.

    Sen. Grace Poe, chairman of the committee, asked Bacar how PH Trams-CB&T managed to get the P54- million per month maintenance contract even if PH Trams was undercapitalized.

    PH Trams and CB&T replaced Sumitomo, the original maintenance provider of MRT 3, in 2012.

    Sumitomo was the maintenance provider of MRT 3 from 2000 until its contract expired in August 2010. The Transport department, which was then headed by Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, an LP stalwart, extended Sumitomo’s contract for three times until October 2012.

    Bacar said they were confident that they would be able to bag the MRT3 maintenance contract because personalities of PH Trams led by a certain Marlo de la Cruz had bragged about their connections with the LP.

    Poe noted that the negotiations for the maintenance contract started with Roxas but were completed under former secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

    “Admittedly, the fact of affiliations alone does not make the maintenance contracts problematic. The bigger problem lies in the fact that PH Trams, presumably, like all the other problematic maintenance contracts, did not deliver their end of the bargain,” Poe said.

    Poe said the maintenance providers brokered by de la Cruz, who is reportedly close to Roxas, were able to bag contracts even when the corporations never delivered their end of the bargain.

    “In fact, Mr. Marlo de la Cruz signed a waiver releasing CB&T of their liability for not having been able to purchase the spare parts, so CB&T had to take over that responsibility,” Poe added.

    In an interview after the hearing, Poe said the committee was able to establish that de la Cruz was able to win government contracts because of his connections with the previous administration.

    De la Cruz was invited by the Senate committee to appear in the hearing but he did not show up. His lawyer, Richard Leonard Cruz, sent a letter invoking the sub judice rule in view of his client’s pending case before the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court in connection with the irregularities in the MRT3 maintenance deals.

    Poe during the hearing said the sub judice rule is not applicable to legislative inquiries, which are in aid of legislation.

    LP’s involvement was also seen in the P3.8-billion contract for the supply of 48 light rail vehicles (LRVs) from Dalian, a Chinese firm.

    Lawyer Al Vitangcol, former general manager of MRT3, cited an email sometime in May 2014 from Antonio de Mesa, representative of the winning bidder Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock, to Eugene Rapanut, a member of the LP.

    De Mesa allegedly promised Rapanut that 5 percent of the project cost would go to the officials of the Transport department.

    Vitangcol did not name names. The Ombudsman is investigating the issue, he said.

    He said that the P3.8-billion Dalian contract was disadvantageous to the government and those involved in the process could be held liable.

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    4 Comments

    1. panagutin ang dapat panagutin…ikulong sila Roxas and Abaya…kasuhan na agad agad yan mga magnanakaw na yan!

    2. dating magna-nakaw on

      I am now fully convinced, that corruption is at its best, during the administration of PNoy. Corruptions existed and lingered from the highest levels of the government, all the way down to barangay levels. I did not quite understand where all the LP’s money coming from, to finance their candidates during the 2016 election. The LPs have used different “modus operandi” in stealing people’s money and they were very successful in doing it, and the architect of this operation made sure that all of the involved parties have their share of the pie. One of the areas I remember very well was the monetary aid / donations given by the 28 member nations of EU, and the U.S. were amounting to Billions of U.S. Dollars for typhoon Yolanda. Yes, literally billions of dollars and small percentage of that were given by Filipinos, OFW or otherwise from around the world. The money was not released to the beneficiaries for a long time, and I was surprised when the final accounting was released to the public. Parang mas mahigit sa kalahat ang kinurakot dahil konti lang ang naibigay sa dapat nakinabang.

    3. Abning Aquino on

      Kayo ang boss ko! Itutuloy namin ang tuwid na daan…ha ha ha! Sa lahat ng SONA ni Abnoy: Ang nakaraang administration ay mga magnanakaw (referring to GMA Admin), yun naman pala, nainggit lang ang LP kaya sila naman ang nagnakaw. Ha ha ha. Napakahipokrito talaga nitong mga LP na ito. Huwag na iboto yan sa susunod na election.

      • Ang kaso hindi na sila LP, mabilis na silang lumipat sa PDP. Pano mo pa sila hahabulin. Konti nalang ang natitirang LP.