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Malacañang expects swift legal proceedings against ex-gov’t officials responsible for MRT glitches

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: Passengers inside an MRT coach on a rush hour ride

MANILA, Philippines – Though there are issues between the Office of the Ombudsman and the Executive branch, Malacañang believes that the proceedings on the charges filed against former Cabinet officials allegedly involved in the questionable contract with the MRT maintenance provider will swiftly bring results.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque said it is possible that the ombudsman will immediately investigate on the matter because of frequent glitches affecting the riding public.

“I am hoping that because there are already formal complaints, the process will be fast. I understand the Ombudsman has the duty to investigate even on its own and even on the basis of anonymous complaints,” Roque said.

Aside from this, Malacañang added that DOTr is doing everything it can to rehabilitate and improve the services of MRT.

These include procurement of reliable service contractor, building of new rails, obtaining new train cars and signaling system.

Auditing within the MRT is also continuous to ensure the safety if the commuters.

“We’re crying for a solution and we’re crying for a quick solution and I’m sure that Secretary Tugade and Usec. Chavez are really taking all the necessary steps. You have to understand, this is also a legal quicksand with signed contracts,” said Roque.

Meanwhile, Roque plans to take a ride on MRT once a week to personally experience the MRT problems and complain to MRT management should he encounter one. – Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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MRT-3 to temporarily suspend operation from March 28 to April 1

by UNTV   |   Posted on Saturday, March 17th, 2018


MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Rail Transit Line-3 (MRT-3) will not operate for five days during the Holy Week.

Based on the advisory of the MRT-3 management, there will be no operations from March 28 to April 1.

This is to pave way for maintenance activities for the trains and facilities.

Its operations will return to normal on April 2, Monday. — UNTV News & Rescue

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Malacañang advises Aguirre to take Pres. Duterte’s statements seriously

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, March 16th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre

FILE PHOTO: Department of Justice Sec. Vitaliano Aguirre

MANILA, Philippines — It is clear that President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed grave concern on the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) dismissal of drug charges against self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa and alleged drug lords Peter Lim, Peter Co and others.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque had earlier quoted the President to have said that if Espinosa and Lim escape, he [Aguirre] will replace them in jail.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that despite this, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre still enjoys the President’s trust and confidence.

However, the secretary advised Aguirre to take President Duterte’s statement seriously.

“Now, whether or not the President really said what I twitted, he did. Whether or not, it should be taken literally by Secretary Aguirre? I will repeat what I have often said: even if you don’t take the President literally, you take him all the time seriously,” said Roque.

“So, I think what the President said is a very clear expression of concern that he will not allow suspected drug lords to go scot-free,” he added. — UNTV News & Rescue


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Malacañang mulls filing new raps vs ex-DOTC execs over MRT-3 anomalies 

by UNTV   |   Posted on Tuesday, March 6th, 2018


FILE PHOTO: An MRT train in depot

MANILA, Philippines — Aside from his previous order to file plunder complaints against nine former officials of the past administration on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line-3 maintenance deal, President Rodrigo Duterte has also directed Solicitor General Jose Calida to look further into the matter for possible charges that can be filed against other personalities who were responsible for the current mess the said mass transit is in.

Plunder charges have been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against former Transporation Secretary Jun Abaya and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.

“I know there was already a case filed for BURI [Busan Universal Rail Inc.] but there could be other cases filed as well. There could be other new ones because apparently, the problem lies not just with BURI but the problem lies with the current owners of MRT-3,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

With this development, the government is looking for a long-term solution to the said MRT-3 woes.

Based on what was discussed at Monday’s 23rd Cabinet meeting of President Duterte, this long-term solution comes in the form of arranging for a new owner of the MRT-3.

This is aside from the ones in charge of the maintenance and operation.

“The ownership of MRT-3 is a private corporation. So they are thinking of changing the owners because we’ve had many problems with the current owners,” said Roque.

Currently, the private company Metro Rail Transit Corporation owns MRT-3.

Another long-term solution that the government is looking into is the procurement of all necessary spare parts, and entering into a new contract with the MRT-3’s original maintenance contractor, Japan’s Sumimoto Corporation. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue