Ombudsman to take action on complaints over MRT-3 deal before retirement in 2018


OMBUDSMAN Conchita Carpio Morales said that she would act on the complaints filed in connection with the now terminated Metro Rail Transit Line-3 maintenance deal before she retires in 2018.

“Oo naman siguro, aaksyunan naman natin kaagad. Hindi pupwedeng hintayin ang July na bago mo aksyunan. I’m supposed to retire next year unless I get impeached and convicted…,” Morales told reporters in a chance interview on Wednesday when asked if she would be able to act on the plunder complaint filed against nine Cabinet officials of former president Benigno Aquino 3rd and several officials from the Department of Transportation and maintenance provider Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI).

(Perhaps yes, we will take action immediately. We cannot wait until July before we take action. I’m supposed to retire next year unless I get impeached and convicted…)

Morales, a retired Supreme Court associate justice, was appointed Ombudsman in late July 2011 under the Aquino administration. Her seven-year term will end on July 2018.

In October, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) filed a graft complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against officials under the Aquino administration linked to the allegedly anomalous P3.8 billion maintenance contract for MRT-3.

The DoTr accused the respondents of violating Sections 3(e) and 3(g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

They are:

* Former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd;

* former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad;

* former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima;

* former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla;

* former Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo;

* former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin;

* former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson;

* former National Economic and Development Authority Director General Arsenio Balisacan;

* Marlo dela Cruz;

* former Transportation secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya;

* former Transportation undersecretaries Edwin Lopez, Rene Limcaoco, and Catherine Gonzales;

* former MRT-3 General Manager Roman Buenafe;

* former Assistant Secretary Camille Alcaraz who was former Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairperson;

* former BAC Vice Chairman Ofelia Astrera;

* former BAC provisional members Charissa Eloisa Julia Opulencia, Oscar Bongon, and Jose Rodante Sabayle;

* former BAC member Maria Cecilia Natividad;

* Eldonn Ferdinand Uy, Elizabeth Velasco, Belinda Ong Tan, Brian Velasco, Chae-Gue Shim, Antonio Borromeo, Jun Ho Hwang, Elpidio Silvestre Uy, William dela Cruz, and Eugene Rapanut who were then from Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI).

READ: UPDATE: 9 former Aquino Cabinet men, Transportation execs face plunder for MRT-3 deal



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