MRT-3 passenger arrested for grenade found inside bag

Marje Pelayo   •   February 25, 2019   •   1926

Suspect Christian Guzman is presented to the media

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A 29-year-old man was arrested at MRT-3 Cubao Station when baggage inspectors found a ‘live hand grenade’ inside his bag on Saturday evening (February 13).

According to the train station’s security personnel, they noticed a suspicious item inside Christian Guzman’s bag when it passed through the x-ray machine.

When they checked, they found the grenade inside a cellphone box wrapped in a packaging tape.

The MRT-3 security personnel immediately reported the incident to the Quezon City Police District Station 7.

“Nakita ko po iyon sa monitor na iyong hugis po niya, (iyong) metal is blue, dark blue. Iyon po ang sinabi na granada. So kaagad kong hi-nold iyon then tinawag ko (ang) attention ng dalawang pulis natin na nandoon po naka- duty at that time,” explained MRT-3 Cubao Station security personnel Ana Mae Berlaza.

NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar said they are thoroughly investigating the case particularly Guzman’s claim that the grenade belongs to his brother who is a soldier.

“Initially, ang nalaman natin ay kapatid siya ng sundalo. Taga-Isabela iyong sundalo na iyon at iniwan itong granada sa kanila last December pa at dahil daw iyong tatay niya, kapag nalalasing ay ipinagmamalaki, ipinagmamayabang iyong granada. Nag-decide siya na ito ay ibiyahe papunta dito sa Manila, lalo na sa Tagaytay para ibalik doon sa kaniyang kapatid na sundalo,” Eleazar said.

Guzman is facing charges for violating R.A. 9516 or illegal possession of ammunition and explosive.

“We are checking on these allegations but just the same. We are preparing the charges against him which is possession of explosives na non-bailable,” the NCRPO Chief added.

Guzman underwent inquest proceedings at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday (February 24), all the while asserting his innocence saying he has no existing police records whatsoever.

“Wala naman po akong intensyon na galawin po iyong granada. Ako po, malinis ang hangarin ko. Mahirap lang din kami,” he added.

Authorities call on the public to be vigilant and immediately notify the police if they see any suspicious person and items or activities inside the train station.

Security measures are expected to beef up following the incident for the safety of the riding public, according to authorities. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

MRT-3 reports drop in unloading incidents in 2019

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The number of unloading incidents recorded from January to September this year in the Metro Rail Transit line 3 (MRT-3) has only reached 18 so far, its management reported on Monday.

According to official records of the MRT-3 control center, this is much lower when compared to 480 unloading incidents reported in the same period in 2016, which was the highest number recorded since 2012.

In a Facebook post, the MRT-3 said the significant improvement was observed after they stopped the “force deployment” of “unsafe and reliable trains” as practiced by MRT-3’s previous maintenance provider.

MAGANDANG BALITA!DAMANG-DAMA na ang lamig sa loob ng tren ng MRT-3 dahil naikabit na ang 93 bagong air-conditioning…

Posted by Department of Transportation – Philippines on Saturday, 14 September 2019

“Amin din pong nais na klaruhin na ang MRT-3 ay hindi kailanman nagdedeploy ng tren na depektibo o sira. Mahalaga sa amin ang kaligtasan ng aming mga pasahero,” the agency said in a statement.

(We also wish to clarify that the MRT-3 has never deployed defective trains. The safety of our passengers is very important to us.)

“Katunayan, ipinatigil po namin ang naging kasanayan ng dating maintenance providers na ‘force deployment’ ng ‘unsafe at unreliable trains’, dahil sila noon ay nababayaran base sa numero ng tren na kanilang nadedeploy, sirain man o hindi,” it added.

(In fact, we have stopped the practice of ‘force deployment’ of ‘unsafe and unreliable trains’ by former maintenance providers as they are paid based on the number of deployed trains, regardless of whether it broke down or not.)

The MRT-3 management also said that compared to previous years, its warehouse now contains enough number of spare parts to repair broken train system components.

“Kung dati rin ay halos walang lamang spare parts ang MRT-3 warehouse, ngayon po ay nag-uumapaw ito sa dami. Ibig sabihin, sapat na ang mga spare parts na gagamitin sa pagkukumpuni ng mga bagon at sistema ng MRT-3,” it said.

(If in the past, the MRT-3 warehouse contained little to no spare parts, now, it is overflowing. It means there are enough spare parts for fixing MRT-3 coaches and system components.)

The agency also reported other improvements brought about by the ongoing comprehensive rehabilitation program, including the full operation of elevators in all MRT-3 stations and the operation of 30 of the total 46 escalators.

93 air-conditioning units have also been installed at MRT-3 coaches with 87 more units to be delivered soon.

Around 4,053 pieces of new rails to replace degraded MRT-3 mainline tracks have also been completely delivered.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier announced that the processing of rail replacements for will start in November until February 2021 at the welding area in the railway’s Taft Avenue Station.

READ: MRT-3 rail replacement works to kick off in November – DOTr

The department earlier said the installation of replacement rails will only take place non-operating hours to avoid disruption in the line’s daily train service.

The DOTr expects the new rails to reduce excess vibration of trains which cause damage to its electrical and mechanical component and later lead to glitches or train breakdown.

By the end of the rehabilitation works, the department said MRT-3 running trains will be increased from 15 to 20 with speed up to 60 kilometers per hour.

The waiting time between trains is also seen to go down from the current 7.5 minutes to 3.5 minutes.

“Makakaasa po kayo na pagsapit ng July 2021, o 26 months mula nang magsimula ang rehabilitasyon noong Mayo, ganap nang mararamdaman ang mga pagbabago sa MRT-3,” the MRT-3 management said.

Viral act of kindness sparks doubts on social media

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 13, 2019

“Kindness is not lost,” ÅcdhiRr Ailnv Diaz wrote on his Facebook post.

His post went viral with 197,000 reactions and 50,000 shares after he shared a story of a man suffering from Leukemia.

In his post, Diaz said he saw a man getting wheeled in by guards inside the train. He noticed that the guy was in pain whenever the train moves.

Another passenger approached the guy.

“In a weak voice he was apologetic thinking he was causing an odd scene, or causing discomfort by his presence,” Diaz said.

Later they found out the guy has stage 3 Leukemia. He was on his way to seek help from a media company to pay for his medical examination.

Passengers from that part of the train began chipping in P100 pesos.

“Before we reached the next station he had enough money for the lab test he needed, plus food and fare. The guys at the back called for a guard for assistance so he could go back to MaDocs [Manila Doctors Hospital],” Diaz recalled.

However, some netizens are claiming the guy was a fake and was only doing it for the money.

According to some netizens, the guy’s Leukemia story was just a fabrication and is only a part of his ‘budol-budol’ scheme. One netizen recalled a similar story.

But according to Diaz, he doesn’t have the capability to further investigate on the matter. He was just sharing what he saw and experienced.

“What I believe I shared was my experience of #Bayanihan, of people coming together to help someone in need. That is all I can say about that,” Diaz said.—AAC

MRT-3 resumes full ops; officials to probe on cause of power cable cut

Robie de Guzman   •   September 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) announced on Friday afternoon that it has resumed full operations after the overhead catenary system (OCS) was successfully reconnected.

In an advisory, the MRT-3 management said the entire line from North Avenue Station to Taft Station resumed at 5 p.m.

“At 4:35 PM, MRT-3’s Overhead Catenary System (OCS) Team has successfully reconnected and restored the catenary cable that was cut earlier today at Guadalupe Station,” it said.

“Work site clearing, as well as the return of the stalled train and maintenance vehicle to the depot, is ongoing and shall be completed by 5:00 PM,” it added.

The MRT-3 management said that after normalizing operations, an investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the cut catenary cable.

The MRT-3 earlier reported the OCS was cut at around 6:17 a.m. which led to the implementation of a provisional service at 6:20 a.m. from North Avenue to Shaw Boulevard.

Partial operations were restored around 9:45 a.m. to serve passengers on both bounds of North Avenue to Shaw Boulevard stations.

The incident caused inconvenience to thousands of train passengers this morning.

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