Yari ka Abaya! Poe wants ex-DOTC chief to explain purchase of unusable MRT trains

Yari ka Abaya! Poe wants ex-DOTC chief to explain purchase of unusable MRT trains

Senator Grace Poe wants to pluck former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya out of retirement to explain why he approved the purchase of 48 Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) coaches even if they’re not compatible with the existing railway system.

Senator Grace Poe wants to pluck former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya out of retirement to explain why he approved the purchase of 48 Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) coaches even if they’re not compatible with the existing railway system.

In a radio interview, Poe confirmed she will summon Abaya in the probe she will set on the China-made train coaches, with the Department of Transportation said cannot be used for at least three more years.

“Marami pong mga panga-pangalan dyan (nababanggit) pero syempre ang (dating) kalihim mismo ay hindi dapat makalusot. Ang alam ko, sya rin ang pumayag dyan dahil sya ang nakaupo hindi ba? Si Sec. Abaya,” she said.

“Kailangan kong ipatawag, pasensya na kung retired na kayo ngayon at nagpapahinga kayo. Pero ‘yung ginawang perwisyo sa ating mga kababayan ay, you don’t deserve to have a rest dahil kailangan ninyong i-esplika kung anong nangyari dyan,” Poe added.

In pressing for a re-opening of the probe, Poe said the purpose is not to ascertain the guilt or innocence of the officials concerned.

“Hindi naman kami huwes eh. Hindi naman naming pwedeng sabihin na ‘ipakulong ‘yan’ pero pwede kaming magrekomenda. Sa tingin ko, sa panahon ngayon, 48 trains na hindi magagamit, P3.8 billion (ang cost), ay lagpas na po iyan sa requirement para (makapag-file ng) plunder charges o kung ano pa man na graft,” she said.

Poe said she will file a resolution calling for an investigation of the MRT coaches’ mess when Senate sessions resume on May 2.

Poe, who chaired the Senate subcommittee on transportation, led the probe into the state of MRT in 2015. She expressed disappointment when some key transportation officials were spared from the filing of criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan for the alleged anomalous maintenance contract of the MRT system.

While the Office of the Ombudsman’s Fact Investigating Office initially included Abaya in the graft probe, his name was dropped eventually after the preliminary investigation fail to find any probable cause to include him in their charge sheet.

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