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PNoy minion Abaya admits: We signed MRT deal without doing background checks

Abaya admits signing MRT deal sans knowledge of firm’s background
By KATHRINA CHARMAINE ALVAREZ, GMA News
Former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya on Monday admitted signing the P54-million-a-month Metro Rail Transit (MRT) maintenance contract without knowing the firm that would take on the deal.

Abaya made the disclosure during a Senate public services committee hearing during which she was quizzed by Senator Grace Poe on whether he was aware that PH Trams was incorporated a few months before winning the bid, and had a capital of only P625,000.
“Alam ba niyo na iyung kompanya na ‘yan, maliit lang ang kapitalisasyon… P625,000, na binibigyan niyo ng kontrata for more than P50 million a month? Two months, ilang months pa lang, na-incorporate, nanalo na ng kontrata? Hindi ba kayo nagtaka nun?” asked Senator Grace Poe, who chairs the committee on public service.
Abaya, who assumed office in October 2012, admitted not knowing the “facts” on the contract with PH Trams-CB&T.

Abaya said he signed the contract under the “presumption that the organization was doing its job.”

“Ang pinagtataka ko lang…hindi ba dapat sumagi sa isip niyo, ang PH Trams kasama nga dito pero yung may track record talaga ay yung CB&T?” Poe said of the joint venture.

PH Trams-CB&T was the maintenance provider for the MRT 3 from October 20, 2012 to September 3, 2013, before being replaced by Global-APT JV from September 5, 2013 to July 4, 2015. The existing maintenance provider is with Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI).

“Nung nagkaroon ng desisyon…Nago-orient ako sa DOTC. The last thing I would want [to know] is to how all these bidders are partnering themselves. I was orienting sa air, rail and sea,” Abaya said.

He said there was a “presumption” on his part “that the organization, the bureaucracy was doing its job.”

“Imagine if i came there as a doubting Thomas being careful that I won’t sign anything, MRT 3 would have stopped on October 19, no maintenance provider, Sumitomo (the previous maintenance provider) would have packed their bags, titigil. That I couldn’t have explained to our people,” Abaya said.

Poe then told Abaya: “We should call on the responsibility, the one before you… Sundalo kayo, inaako niyo yung mga bagay na maaring hindi naman sa inyo talaga nahulog.”

“Kilala mo yung pinalitan so siguro may tiwala ka. So sige, okay na yan,” Poe said.

Poe was referring to Abaya’s predecessor in the DOTC, former Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II. Roxas left the DOTC to transfer to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), replacing the late Secretary Jesse Robredo.

“If you want to find out, you could find out ma’am,” Abaya told Poe.

Poe and Roxas both ran for the presidency in the 2016 national elections. Roxas placed second to the eventual winner, President Rodrigo Duterte, while Poe placed third. —NB, GMA News

PNoy minion Abaya admits: We signed MRT deal without doing background checks PNoy minion Abaya admits: We signed MRT deal without doing background checks Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 11:18:00 AM Rating: 5

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