Former DOTC chief Abaya to face Senate probe on MRT contracts

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A Senate inquiry on the procurement contracts for additional coaches and maintenance of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 during former Department of Transportation and Communications Joseph Abaya’s time will be conducted on May 15, 2017 (Monday) for alleged graft complaints.

Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services Senator Grace Poe said that Abaya was originally up for hearing on May 18 (Thursday), however Abaya’s scheduled family trip moved the hearing to Monday.

Poe said that a subpoena for Abaya will be released if he fails to appear in court on the rescheduled date considering that the Senate probe on the questionable contract should have been conducted two years ago.

“Ako naman ay nakikiusap dahil pagkakataon niya ito na madepensahan ang kaniyang sarili kung totoong wala siyang pagkululang,” Poe said.

“Ngayon kung may pagkukulang siya, kahit ano pa man ang gawin mo, i-suspend mo man ‘yang hearing na ‘yan, gawin mo man sa isang taon o kailan pa, hangga't hindi mo pinagbayaran ‘yan sa pagkakamali na ‘yan, uulit at uulit ‘yan, kaya sana ay pumunta siya,” she added.

Poe expressed that she understands Abaya’s need to go on a vacation, however he will remain liable to the people for the issues that have surfaced.

"Sapagkat kung magbabakasyon siya—lahat naman tayo kailangan natin ng off-time, sige—pero obligasyon mo muna sa taumbayan na sagutin mo ang mga tanong dahil hindi kami makakagawa ng solusyon at aksyon kung hindi natin alam at hindi tayo natuto sa ating mga pagkakamali,” Poe said.

The graft charges followed after Poe filed a resolution last May 3, 2017 (Wednesday) which revealed the government contract for procurement of Dalian coaches worth Php 3.8 billion each and the irregularities in the interim maintenance contract.

“[B]akit hindi naisama si Sec. Abaya? Eh, siya naman talaga ang pumirma sa mga kontrata na ‘yon. Hindi ‘yan maapruba hangga’t ‘di pumapayag ang secretary, so may kakulangan talaga dito. Pasensya na. Baka naman puwede natin makausap ang Ombudsman,” Poe said.

Additionally, Abaya is facing another graft charge filed by civil society groups Anti-Trapo Movement of the Philippines, Liga ng Explosibong Pagbabago, and United Filipino Consumers and Commuters.

In their complaint, Abaya was allegedly held for “disadvantageous” contract for the procurement of MRT-3 train carts worth Php 3.7 billion along with complaints for other key government figures.

Included in the list of accused for violation of Section 3(e) and (g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act are former DOTC Bids and Awards Committee chairman Jose Perpetuo Lotilla and members Rene Limcaoco and Juanito Bucayan, head of secretariat Catherine Jennifer Gonzales, head of Project Implementation Team Roman Buenafe, MRT-3 director for operations and other linked personnel. 



Former DOTC chief Abaya to face Senate probe on MRT contracts Former DOTC chief Abaya to face Senate probe on MRT contracts Reviewed by Newsinfo Learn on May 14, 2017 Rating: 5

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