by Czarina Nicole Ong
Nine Cabinet officials of the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III and several others are now facing plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the MRT 3 maintenance contract.
The complaint was filed Tuesday by Department of Transportation (DoTr) Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Procurement, Reinier Yebra.
The nine Aquino administration Cabinet officials are former secretaries Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), Mar Roxas of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Florencio “Butch” Abad of the Department of Budget and management (DBM), Cesar Purisima of the Department of Finance (DoF), Jericho Petilla of the Department of Energy (DOE), Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DoST), Voltaire Gazmin of the Department of Defense, Rogelio Singson of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).
The 64-page complaint also included former MRT general manager Roman Buenafe and former DoTC undersecretaries Rene Limcaoco, Catherine Gonzales, and Edwin Lopez as well as several former Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) officials, Busan Universal Rail, Inc. (BURI) officials, and a certain Marlo dela Cruz.
Aside from plunder, the respondents also face complaints for violating Sections 3(e) and 3(g) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices and Section 10 of the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The filing of the complaint came a day after a graft complaint was lodged against Abaya over the same maintenance deal the government entered into with BURI.
The complaint was for the contract with BURI for the general overhaul of light rail vehicles (LRVs) and the replacement of the MRT 3’s signalling system.