Palace: More cases to be filed over MRT mess

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2018 06:11 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday said more cases would soon be filed in connection with the sorry state of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT 3).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the new set of cases may target officials of the government’s private sector partner in the MRT 3.

“There could be other new ones. Because apparently, the problem lies not just with BURI (Busan Universal Rail Inc), the problem also lies with the current owners of MRT 3,” Roque said in a news conference. 

He said the President has asked Solicitor General Jose Calida to look into the matter.

The Department of Transportation last November terminated its maintenance contract with BURI, a Filipino-Korean consortium tapped by the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III.

It then filed plunder and graft charges against former Aquino administration officials, including former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Roque said among long-term solutions the government is considering to fix the train system's woes “is to change the ownership of the MRT 3.”

“They are thinking of changing the owners, because we have had many problems with the current owners,” Roque said.

The MRT 3, which plies the stretch of EDSA, has been suffering from frequent breakdowns, making the daily commute burdensome for its passengers. 

Roque said the government would do everything to fix the busy transit line, including allocating funds for the purchase of spare parts. Japan’s Sumitomo, the train line's original maintenance provider, will also be brought back, he said.