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HOR almost cites in contempt MRT-3 GM Garcia for walking out of the Congressional hearing

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Rail Transit (MRT) General Manager Rodolfo Garcia dared House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez amid the hearing of the House Committee on Transportation on  January 31, regarding MRT 3 glitches.

“I will resign if I am not sure, If you want I could resign now,” Garcia said.

Garcia raised his voice after House Speaker Alvarez questioned his ability to fix the operation of MRT.

According to Garcia, he has been focusing on the testing of 48 Dalian trains.

He said four of these can already be used for the operation.

However, Alvarez questioned Garcia’s statement.

The lawmaker argued that the Dalian trains are not compatible with the rails of MRT and are dangerous to use.

“We are looking at the Dalian trains if these can be used,” Garcia said.

“It is not possible. It is not compatible with this signaling system. Did you not know it?” Alvarez said.

Amid the heated exchange, Garcia attempted to walk-out, however, several lawmakers stopped him.

Some congressmen defended the House speaker and recommended to cite Garcia in contempt for his behavior.

“Speaker, the one who is talking, is the head of the third batch of the government. Don’t do it to us. We cannot allow you to just leave. We might even detain you here,” House Majority Leader Rep. Rodolfo Farinas said.

Garcia calmed down after talking with Fariñas.

Shortly afterwards, the MRT General Manager apologized to Alvarez.

Because of this, the lawmakers withdraw its plan to cite him in contempt.

“I was just pressured as GM, I am really contemplating going out,” said Garcia.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has once again assured to the public that it is doing all it can to fix the MRT-3.

DOTr Undersecretary for Rails Timothy John Batan said the spare parts the government ordered will arrive in February, which then will pave way for the start of the repair of some MRT trains.

He said the government continues to hold talks with the Japanese government regarding the planned take-over of the Sumitomo to the maintenance and rehabilitation of MRT.

“When the spare parts begin to arrive, we will bring up one by one the trains we could not fix before due to lack of spare parts,” said Batan.— Joan Nano| UNTV News & Rescue


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Dalian trains to go on simulation run prior to 2018 debut

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, October 1st, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – Railway engineers from the Department of Transportation (DOTr), MRT-3, the Philippines National Railways, and CRRC Dalian recently convened to discuss the conduct of a simulation run of Dalian trains this October.

The said test run aims to review the reliability and compatibility of Dalian trains before officially hitting the tracks by the end of the year.

The MRT management, meanwhile, assured that the simulation run will not affect the MRT-3’s regular train services.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade previously said that they plan to inaugurate the official operation of the 48 Dalian trains before the end of 2018 only if they pass safety and security standards. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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Arroyo finally meets Alvarez after House leadership row

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (left) and new House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (center)


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – House Speaker Gloria Arroyo has finally met with Representative Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday (July 25), their first since the Lower House leadership drama that delayed President Rodrigo Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Arroyo appealed for respect when asked about what transpired in her discussion with Alvarez but said they both promised to continue their good working relationship. – Grace Casin / UNTV News & Rescue

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Arroyo triumphs as new House Speaker

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (right, wearing pink) being sworn into office by Ang Kabuhayan Rep. Dennis Laogan


QUEZON CITY, Philippines – In a sudden turn of events, Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo again rose to power after her supporters booted out Pantaleon Alvarez as Speaker of the House of Representatives (HOR) on Monday (July 23).

Arroyo’s allies pressed on the change in House leadership as session resumed after President Rodrigo Duterte’s third State of the Nation Address.

The lawmakers, without the mace and the sound system,  resumed on voting which resulted in 184 votes in favor of Arroyo and 12 abstentions.

Arroyo then took over as the 21st and the first woman Speaker of the House.

The youngest member of the House in the 17th Congress, Ang Kabuhayan Rep. Dennis Laogan, administered the oath of office to Arroyo.

As expected, the procedure of Arroyo’s election was questioned.

According to independent minority leader Albay Representative Edcel Lagman, the move was just a waste of time as it was not official.

There are no members of the secretary to record what is being done, there’s even no sound system we are shouting here there are no rules being followed. Walang saysay ito (It has no validity),” he said.

Arroyo became president in 2001 after the ouster of former President Joseph Estrada. She ran in 2004 and won the presidential elections marred with cheating. In 2011, she was accused and was placed under hospital arrest for allegedly misusing state funds while in office during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.

Arroyo, now in power as the House Speaker, will lead the deliberations on the proposed amendment in the 1987 Constitution, which critics warn can be another stepping stone for Arroyo to rise to the presidency.

Congresswoman Arroyo has yet to issue an official statement on the matter despite requests for a media interview. – Grace Casin / Marje Pelayo

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