Resigned rail Usec. Chavez urged to tell all on exit

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 23 2017 08:54 PM

Former Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez speaks during a June 15, 2017 press conference in Quezon City. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Lawmakers on Thursday challenged resigned Transportation Undersecretary for Rails Cesar Chavez to reveal his reasons for stepping down amid persistent glitches at the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3), the metro's busiest train line. 

Chavez on Thursday tendered his irrevocable resignation saying a "simple sense of delicadeza gives me no choice but to resign."

In leaving his post, Chavez took responsibility for recent MRT mishaps, including a freak accident where a woman's arm was severed and the decoupling of 2 train coaches, which forced commuters to walk on the tracks. 

Makabayan bloc lawmakers said Chavez should explain his resignation on the belief that there is more to his decision than just delicadeza. 

"'Yun ang siguro hamon natin both sa Malacañang at kay Usec. Chavez, magtapat sa publiko ano ba talaga dahilan, totoong dahilan kung bakit nag-resign," ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. Antonio Tinio said.

(That is our challenge both to Malacañang and to Usec. Chavez, to reveal the true reason behind his resignation.)

"Siguro beyond delicadeza 'yung dahilan ng pagre-resign ni Chavez. Very emotional siya. Tingin ko 'di lang sa usapin ng delicadeza," ACT Teachers Party-list Rep. France Castro said.

(I think Chavez's resignation goes beyond delicadeza. He is very emotional.)

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate, meanwhile, said he thinks there are "powerful" individuals that Chavez might have stepped on in his push for reforms in the transport sector.

"May makapangyarihan diyan na gusto siya alisin. We challenge resigned Usec. Chavez na sabihin ito sa mamamayan anong interest groups," he said.

(There are powerful individuals who wanted him out. We challenge resigned Usec. Chavez to name these interest groups to the public.)


Other lawmakers, meanwhile, commended Chavez's courage to take responsibility for the problematic MRT.

"I commend his sense of delicadeza and courage to own up to his shortcomings. Such act is rare nowadays in an administration where excuses have been the norm to cover up glaring failures," fierce administration critic Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano said.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat called Chavez's act "noble." 

"It sends a message of personal accountability for one's actions and for that, I praise him," he said.

In light of Chavez's resignation, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice and Alejano said the government should now address problems hounding the MRT.

"As long as the present scenario prevails in the MRT, wherein the private sector owns the facility and the government, by operating it, the worst in the MRT is yet to come," Erice said.

"The government must now lay down its plan on how to address the MRT mess. The Filipino people deserve safe, reliable, and efficient transportation services," Alejano said.

The MRT, which runs the length of EDSA, ferries some 500,000 commuters daily.