Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Full Disclosure by Abaya, DOTC Officals of House Probe on MRT-3 Extortion Case

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Officials of the Department and Transportation and Communications (DOTC), led by Secretary Jun Abaya, made full disclosures at the Congress investigation on the alleged Metro Rail Transit III (MRT-3) extortion attempt this morning, as promised by Abaya last week.

"We promised that we would be transparent, so we made full disclosure to Congress. We at the DOTC have nothing to hide, and are as interested as anyone else in uncovering irregularities, if indeed there were any," said Abaya.

It was revealed during the hearing of the House of Representatives (HOR) Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability that the MRT-3 maintenance contract which was awarded to CB&T was made to ensure the safety of its passengers.

"Safety is always our priority. That is our commitment to the public. We resorted to the simplied emergency bidding procedure so as not to compromise passenger safety," Abaya remarked.

This situation arose due to the refusal of the Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) - the private company which owns the facilities of the MRT-3 - to renew its maintenance contract with Sumitomo of Japan in 2012. The Emergency Procurement mode is provided for under Republic Act No. 9184 or the Procurement Law.

Three (3) companies with sufficient track record in providing rail project maintenance services took part in the simplified bid, namely: Sumitomo, CB&T in joint venture with PH Trams, and Miescor Rail.

It was only after CB&T was awarded the contract based on its superior bid, that it formalized its JV with PH Trams.

"Clearly, the DOTC followed the procedures laid out in the Procurement Law. There was no closed-door negotiation, there was no lack of track record on the part of the winning bidder," Abaya added.

The DOTC also disclosed that it was not aware of the relationship between Atty. Al Vitangcol and Arturo Soriano, who was an incorporator of PH Trams, until yesterday. Atty. Vitangcol also confirmed during the hearing that he did not make this declaration to the DOTC officials.

Photo credit to Solar News

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