Palace says 'whistleblowers' claim MRT-3 anomalies

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2018 03:45 PM

MANILA - Malacañang on Wednesday said “whistleblowers” are linking officials of the previous administration to anomalies in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT 3) maintenance contract.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the whistleblowers claim that a certain "Pangasinan Group" and several politicians pocketed two-thirds of the payment given to the MRT’s former maintenance provider, Filipino-Korean consortium Busan Universal Rail Inc.

“Ngayon lang lumalabas iyong mga whistleblower. Ngayon lang may hawak tayong whistleblower kung paano hatian. Meron pala kasing tinatawag na Pangasinan Group diyan,” he said in a radio interview.

“Ang sabi ng whistleblower ay 1/3 daw nung total na binabayad natin para sa kontratang ito ay napupunta lang doon sa Pangasinan group ‘no. Tapos 1/3 daw ay diumano ay binabayad din sa political machinery at 1/3 lang talaga iyong napupunta para sa pag-maintain ng MRT 3.”

In a news conference in Palawan, Roque refused to divulge more information about the whistleblowers, only noting that they will be brought to the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation.

He earlier said the government will file more charges against several individuals in connection with the sorry state of the transit system.

The Department of Transportation last November terminated its maintenance contract with BURI, which was 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.

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