Malacañang took Senator Grace Poe to task for saying that Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya should be criminally charged for the multitude of problems facing the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3.
Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon 3rd said that indicting officials is not the answer to the rail problems.
He added that instead of proposing the filing of charges against Abaya, Poe should support the reforms being done by the government.
“We are hoping that out of her sense of frustration that is also felt by a lot of people, Senator Poe would see that the filing of charges is not the solution. What is needed is understanding and supporting the reforms being carried out by the government,” Quezon said in a radio interview.
“I think it would be very easy for her, she’s a member of the Senate and in aid of legislation, she could look at things, determine why it came to this situation and she could ask for more information,” he added.
“Kung mayroon kang nakikitang problema, bakit mo dadalhin sa demandahan when, as a member of the Senate, ang solusyon naman ay tingnan ang sitwasyon, tingnan kung saan ba may pagkukulang, saan ba may mga reporma na makakatulong at gumawa ng batas para dito (If you see a problem, why do you want it to lead to the filing of charges when, as a member of the Senate, the solution there is to look at the situation, assess where we fell short, what reforms are needed and craft laws to address these issues),” he added.
Poe on Friday said Abaya should be held accountable for the MRT mess and that the Senate sub-committee on public services which she heads will likely recommend the filing of graft-related charges against the DOTC chief.
The senator added that Abaya should have been included as a respondent when former MRT 3 general manager Al Vitangcol 3rd and five others were charged at the Sandiganbayan over the awarding of the $11.5-million maintenance contract to PH Trams Incorporators without public bidding.
“The problem with the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is 1its leadership or [the]lack of it,” Poe said.
Poe earlier called on the President to fire Abaya on grounds of incompetence.