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Presidential spokesperson draws flak on social media for MRT ride

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, November 24th, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The social media was flooded with negative comments against Presidential Spokesperson Attorney Harry Roque.

This, after Roque’s MRT ride Thursday morning was featured live on the official Facebook page of the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson.

Many people said Roque’s action was an early show of campaign for the elections while some call Roque a ‘trapo’ or traditional politician, as they question his real intentions.

Like an ordinary passenger, Roque also tried to fall in line from MRT North Avenue Station and take his ride to Taft station in Pasay City, and then transferred to LRT.

During his train ride, he talked to the passengers and asked about their daily experiences taking the mass transport.

Roque’s train ride was supposedly like the other ordinary commuters but it appeared on social media that he was given a special treatment, with security guards were blocking some passengers to give way.

But Roque strongly denies such allegations, and insists that his ride experience was not scripted and no special treatment.

“Hindi po totoo yan, hindi alam ng DOTr kung nasaan ako at pinagalitan ko yung staff ko nung sinabi na nakipagkutchaba sila. Sabi ko, ‘That defeats the purpose kung kukuchaba tayo at magagalit yung mga mananakay,’ ” Roque said.

Based on his assessment, it is necessary to return the original number of operational trains to 20 to shorten the line of passengers and minimize inconveniences.

Meanwhile, Malacañang has rejected the request of Busan Universal Rails Incorporated (BURI) to have a dialogue with President Rodrigo Duterte.

“We have already cancelled the contract with BURI and the government decided to meanwhile take over the maintenance of MRT,” Roque said.

On Wednesday, Buri has made an appeal to President Duterte to give them a chance to explain their side and to let him know of the real status and the problems surrounding the operation of MRT 3. – Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

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Duterte, not bullying Sereno – Malacañang

by UNTV   |   Posted on Friday, March 9th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said President Duterte is not bullying Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

The official also said that it is Sereno herself who alienated her colleagues in the highest court and they wanted her out of the position.

“Hindi na po siya kinakailangang i-bully ng presidente. She has done a magnificent job of alienating her colleagues at mga colleagues niya mismo ang nagsasabi na hindi siya karapat-dapat diyan. Hindi po ang presidente,” said Roque.

(She needs no bullying from the president. She has done a magnificent job of alienating her colleagues and her colleagues themselves say she does not deserve her position — not the president.)

President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned recently that he had no hand in the filing of complaints against Sereno.

He also let Congress do its work on the impeachment proceedings against the chief justice.

Meanwhile, Roque revealed that even those who are in the lower courts are appealing for the resignation of the chief magistrate.

“Siya ang hepeng mahistrado and yet ni isang mahistrado walang kumampi sa kaniya at ang pagkakaalam ko pati yung mga judges ng lower courts, mananawagan na siya’y bumaba sa pwesto,” said the presidential spokesperson.

(She is the chief justice and yet not even one justice sided with her. And I know even the judges in the lower courts are appealing for her resignation.)

Congress has started drafting the articles of impeachment after establishing probable cause on the impeachment complaint filed before the House justice committee against Sereno. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue


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Malacañang claims documentary evidence on questionable MRT 3 deal

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, March 8th, 2018

FILE: A train of MRT under maintenance

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has documentary evidence on who benefited from the MRT 3 maintenance deal during the last administration.

Presidential Spokesman Secretary Harry Roque said two whistleblowers approached him claiming that the budget for the maintenance contract was divided into several parts.

One third of the fund allegedly went to a certain Pangilinan group, another part for political machinery while the remaining one third was used for MRT maintenance.

Roque said he will submit the evidence to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Aside from this, the secretary also promised to expose the information he has received on the alleged anomalous maintenance contract of the past administration with Busan Universal Rail (BURI) in the coming weeks.

“I have some documentary evidence already. Perhaps beginning next week I will devote one day a week in disclosing facts and details about the plunder of MRT 3,” he said.

Meanwhile, Roque denied that one of the whistleblowers who approached him was former MRT general manager Al Vitangcol.

The official is also hoping that the Office of the Ombudsman is already doing its parallel investigation since plunder and graft complaints had been formally filed against several past administration officials last year. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News & Rescue

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LRMC blames one passenger for causing the glitch in LRT-1 operation

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017


MANILA, Philippines – A video post of Jason Ibe is now viral on social media. It shows an LRT train with its doors open while running from Vito Cruz to Quirino station last Monday night.

The director for operations of the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LMRC), Rod Bulario, explained that one passenger attempted to get into the train at the Vito Cruz station by forcibly opening its door and causing it to malfunction.

“The passenger forced the door open to get inside. When the doors were about to close, the door the passenger activated couldn’t do so anymore. The sensor seemed to have been disturbed that it couldn’t detect the system, hence it remained open while the train was running,” he said.

Bulario added that the problem in the train was immediately addressed upon its arrival at the Quirino Station.

However, the passenger who allegedly caused the problem could no longer be found.

In a CCTV footage, the said passenger can be seen immediately leaving upon the train’s arrival at the Quirino station.

With this incident, the LRMC appeals to the public to not forcibly open the doors of LRT trains to avoid glitches in its sensors.

“Under normal conditions, the doors normally open. It has automatic train stop. But this case is isolated as the door was forcibly opened, disturbing the automatic train stop sensor,”  Bulario said.

The management of LRT admitted the trains are already old.

According to Bulario, these are set to undergo rehabilitation next year.

“We will have it undergo rehabilitation by January. We will rehabilitate these three trains just to be sure,” he said.

It can be recalled that a similar incident happened in LRT Line 1 over a year ago.

In March of 2016, a train ran with its doors open from the Central Station to the UN Avenue Station. – Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue

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