A lawmaker on Thursday urged the Congress to review the planned construction of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 7 and investigate the conflicting interests surrounding the project.
Anakpawis Party-list Rep. Fernando Hicap filed House Resolution No. 532 to scrutinize proposal.
He said that the proposed MRT 7 project is “questionable and anomalous” as it was awarded to Marubeni-DMCI, a consortium owned by San Miguel Corp.
San Miguel Corp. is owned by Pres. Benigno Aquino 3rd’s uncle, Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco.
“We see Aquino’s KKK (Kakampi, Kaibigan, Kamag-anak) all over this highly-contested public transportation project,” Hicap said.
“The MRT 7 project is questionable and anomalous as it stands to benefit known allies and relatives of President Aquino.”
The lawmaker also said that the project will occupy 103.475 hectares of land under Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) in Sitio San Isidro and Sitio Ricafort in Tungkong Mangga, San Juan Del Monte, Bulacan.
The land is claimed by the Araneta family, the kin of Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II. A petition for exemption from CARP was filed by the clan in the Department of Agrarian Reform. However, the agency has not yet acted upon it.
The lawmaker lamented the harassment in the area as the security forces of the Araneta family prohibited farmers to enter the disputed territory.
“The security guards of Araneta family prohibited the farmers from bringing construction materials to fix their houses, prohibited the entry in the area of persons not known to them, conducted surveillance of farmers in the area, destroyed the farmers’ crops and directly harassed the farmers,” he said.
“NEDA’s approval of the the MRT-7 project will fast-track land-grabbing and forced eviction of more than 300 farmer-families in the three hundred 311 hectares in Tungkong Mangga,” he added.
The MRT 7 project approved last week involves the construction of a 22.8-kilometer rail system with 14 stations from North Avenue station in EDSA-Quezon City, passing through Commonwealth Avenue, Regalado Avenue and Quirino Highway up to the proposed Intermodal Transportation Terminal (ITT) in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. The project costs P62.7 billion.
The bill is yet to be discussed by the Committee on Rules. JHOANNA BALLARAN