Saturday, October 19, 2013

MRT 3 Scam Probe : Who Do We Tie Down In The Train Rails?

Wazzup Pilipinas!
"Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar has submitted an affidavit to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to formalize his accusation that officials of the Metro Rail Transit 3 were involved in an alleged $30-million extortion attempt on a Czech company that offered to supply trains."- PhilStar
A couple of corrections in the article (for what it is worth...): Wilson de Vera (former Liberal Party candidate for mayor of Calasiao) is actually with Ph Trams, the exclusive maintenance service provider for the MRT. Manolo Maralit is also not from MRT -- I believe that he is with a 3rd party consultancy firm. As some of the previous posters were hinting, there is much more to this affair than meets the eye (by the way, the President's kin, their family friends, and their associates at Inekon were working quite hard to beat out their Chinese competition for this latest bid). The bidding process for large projects in the Philippines in both the public and private sectors is usually rife with rigging, bribery, kickbacks, quid pro quo patronage appointments, etc. I've been witnessing it first-hand for years. Bad governance abounds (including corporate governance.

In earlier news...some relatives of the administration were also involved...but the stories were changed immediately...There is a story from Manila Times relating to this extortion:
"Presidential sister Ballsy and brother-in-law Eldon Cruz, former DOTC Secretary Pete Prado and Lopez-in-law Steve Psinakis on their alleged attempt to extort $30 million from a Czech company in exchange for MRT project contracts" - Dante Ang, Manila Times

"Rychtar has subsequently retracted his story involving the group of Ballsy, who were earlier implicated in the alleged extortion attempt, of any involvement in the case. Instead Rychtar said in his meetings with Transportation and Communications Sec. Emilio Abaya, he identified Al Vitangcol III as the one involved in the alleged shakedown on Inekon in exchange for getting the contract to supply 48 trains for the MRT expansion." - Tribune

So much drama and if it rings true - severe punishment should be meted out. One thing the Philippines lacks is justice system that actually puts people away. At least in some countries, government corruption is no laughing matter. Time to put corrupt officials away at a prison (not the Napoles luxury suite with central air condition).

I take the MRT for convenience and speed. When I was still working in Makati, I am its faithful commuter who had to endure being squeezed in like sardines in a can. One time, I got in a cart that has one part of the ceiling hanging over the heads of commuters and when I got to the same cart a week after, it was still there. Months after, still is there, hanging with a few bolts! If the MRT Management cannot even cope up with maintenance, how dare them steal money from a project that will ease the burdens of commuters! Now, there is an impending increase in fare prices, for what? To steal more money? Shame of you, MRT officials!

As a daily MRT rider, who plans my movement to and from office headquarters around the "siksikan" of the trains, and witnesses and personally experiences how utterly "kawawa" Filipino commuters are to have to suffer through poor design and horrific management of the MRT system..this is "nakakagalit".
Truly our country is full of corrupt government officials, which is deep-rooted, cancer like and without hope...
They need a slap in the face.. with a slab of steel... molten steel. That should hopefully shed off a bit of their thick skin. Scumbags indeed! Heads should roll for this. I hope the ambassador keeps his nerve and doesn't get intimidated out of dropping the allegations by these shysters or their henchmen.Dapat talaga sinusunog ng buhay ang mga corrupt na opisyales na yan. Puro kalyo na ang mga mukha sa sobrang Kapal! parang balat ng buwaya! I have just about had it with all these greedy ****s. It's so shameful. These @$$h0les are the reason why we can't have nice things...So disgusting, lahat may over price at kick backs pa rin. Wala yan maliit lang yan compare sa NBN-ZTE, ask nyo si Abalos hehehe at si Neri. Moderate their greed hindi stop the greed at yung embassy na ka deal quiet lang at tanggi tanggi lang din.
So which story is worst and for real ? Is it the news about the three scumbags, Vitangcol, Maralit, and de Vera, mentioned in the first article (October 2013), or is it the Aquino relations in the second but earlier article (July 2013)? The administration should have told the media that an honest to goodness investigation will be conducted on this matter rather than saying that Ballsy is incorruptible. A fanciful and legendary extortion tales of Ballsy and Hubby do come true in the mythical and magical kingdom of “Tuwid Na Daan”. But Rappler comes out with "It's the sister of MRT general manager-on-leave Al Vitangcol III – not the sister of President Aquino – who allegedly wanted a favor from Czech firm Inekon.... that complaint was against Vitangcol, who allegedly "demanded" that the Czech railway firm form a joint venture with a company that Vitangcol's sister was purportedly a part of."

We understand it’s less than 3 years more before PNoy makes his last aria, the Filipino people hope that the Aquino in-laws were not making up for whatever time is left to prepare for the post PNoy era. Sure, there’s still life to live after PNoy’s presidency but it’s not an excuse for committing any wrongdoing that may sully the name of the Aquinos (well, let’s leave Kris aside). Simply put, just don’t forget the good name bequeathed by Ninoy and Cory.
How pathetic these people are who tried to solicit kickbacks from a supplier in front of an ambassador of a foreign country. Is our present culture and morality that low already? They have the gall to outright ask for such a big amount of kickback without any fear or shame. Maybe they feel they have backers in the highest places which would explain their hubris. I hope this implicated officials decide to save their own necks and reveal the real people behind this shakedown.

This issue speaks a lot of the rot and decay that is our government. Truly our country is full of corrupt government officials, which is deep-rooted in the so called culture of corruption.

I am more inclined to believe the statements of the diplomat from the Eastern country than the denial of our government officials if we will consider the benefits and risks of executing an affidavit detrimental to the official of a country the diplomat is assigned to. Thank you Mr. Czech Ambassador for putting yourself in harm's way to expose the truth. The ambassador could have just stayed quiet, but for him to waive off his immunity from suit and face the consequence; has to be telling the truth.

So what's the next step to take? It's not enough that we voice our disgust online. As citizens, we should act upon it now. How?

I recommend we tie them down to the rails and run them over. NO. We tie them to the STEPS of the Taft Station and stampede over them.
There is always hope, just start to take them out one by one- name and shame them.

Greed never sleeps, so why should we?

*Source: Internet rants and raves

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