On A Clear Day You Can See The MRT

Roxas was appointed to the DILG Aug 29, 2012. The contract was awarded to PHTRams Oct 20, 2012. If you read the article by Joe America “On a clear Day you can see ther MRT”, the MRT was built by the company headed by Sobrepena. The DOTC didn’t build the MRT. Sobrepeña’s compnay did. So if you notice how un-user-friendly the MRT is, think of Bob Sobrepena.

Based on news reports from different news agencies, here is a timeline to organize the sequence of events:

June 7, 2011: Mar Roxas was assigned to the DOTC. The maintenance agreement entered in December 1997 between MRT Corporation (MRTC) and Sumitomo Corporation, the former maintenance service provider for the safe and proper operations of the trains, including the provision for labor and supervision expired way back in June 2010 and had undergone four extensions from June 2010 until October 2012.The maintenance contract was held by Sumitomo, a Japanese company.
SEARCH: Aquino appoints Roxas as new DoTC chief – Inquirer

Aug. 31, 2012: Mar was appointed to the DILG.
SEARCH: Roxas new DILG chief, Abaya to DOTC -rappler

Fifteen days prior to the Oct 12, 2012 expiration of the last extension to Sumitomo’s contract, the MRT Bids and Awards Committee headed by Vitangcol adopted a resolution to undertake the procurement of an interim maintenance provider for six months and negotiate its terms and conditions. In short, they did cancelled the contract with Sumitiomo. Roxas was already with the DILG and was unaware of the camcellation.

The MRT negotiating team recommended that the project be awarded to PH Trams – CB&T joint venture in the amount of $1.15 million monthly.

October 20, 2012: The project was awarded to PH Trams-CB&T and was renewed three times until September 4, 2013.
SEARCH: “Vitangcol, 5 others face raps over MRT maintenance deal” sunstar manila

On August 13, 2014 the train at the Taft Avenue Station became derailed and overshot to the streets. First, the train had stopped after Magallanes Station. Then the train broke down so a following train was used to push the stalled train. However, the first train became detached and overshot at Taft Avenue, breaking the concrete barriers and falling to the street below.
READ: “Manila Metro Rail Transit System”

July 3, 2015: The Office of the Ombudsman recommended the filing of criminal charges against former Metro Rail Transit (MRT) general manager Al Vitangcol III due to alleged irregularities surrounding the maintenance contract of MRT Line 3.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Vitangcol and five incorporators of Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corporation (PH Trams) should be charged with graft and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act.She said Vitangcol used his power and authority being “the MRT-3 general manager/chief end-user, head of the negotiating team, member of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), all in one, to dictate the proponents invited for the preliminary negotiations of the maintenance services.

She said the former MRT-3 general manager “intentionally hid his [affinitive] relationship with Soriano, which would have automatically disqualified PH Trams.”

Together with his uncle-in-law, Arturo Soriano, as well as Wilson De Vera, Marlo de la Cruz, Manolo Maralit, and Federico Remo, Vitangcol conspired to irregularly award the MRT-3 maintenance contract to the PH Trams-CB&T joint venture which was renewed three times until September 4, 2013.

When asked in a tv interview who he remembered was the last maintenance contractor at the time he left DOTC, Roxas identified the Sumitomo Corporation.

And as if to rub salt to a wound, a TRO was issued stopping the DOTC from buying 48 new bagons. In a two-page order on Tuesday, February 4, 2015, Makati RTC Branch 66 presiding judge Joselito Villarosa granted the petition of Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC) and its affiliate for a 20-day temporary order of protection against the DOTC. SEARCH: Court stops DOTC’s purchase of MRT trains

MRTC, controlled by the group of businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, asked the Makati court to stop the purchase, claiming it will violate the BLT agreement it signed with DOTC for MRT 3 in 1999. Pangilinan-led Metro Pacific Investments Corporation owns majority of MRTC. Government banks Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines hold a combined 80% economic interest, but without voting rights.

The government has long been eyeing to expand the capacity of the rail line, which now carries 600,000 passengers a day, way above its design capacity of 350,000.

To have a free hand in deciding MRT 3’s operations, Malacañang ordered DOTC and the Department of Finance to take over MRTC by buying out its private owners. SEARCH: P56-B budget for MRT buyout ready SEARCH: Transportation chief laments TRO vs additional MRT coaches
SEARCH: DOTC: SEARCH: “MRT passengers ‘held hostage’ by court

The following items are considerable:

1. The cancellation of Sumitomo’s contract and awarding of the new contract to PHTrams happened AFTER Mar Roxas was appointed to the DILG

2. The first breakdown of the MRT happened on Aug. 13, 2014, TWO YEARS AFTER Mar Roxas left the DOTC.

3. The MRT General Manager Vitangcol took the opportunity of the transition in leadership at the DOTC to award his uncle in law the MRT maintenance contract. This is the same Vitangcol who was accused by a diplomat of extortion.

4. Sobrepena is trying to discredit Mar Roxas as the latter has publicly expressed his intention to “abrogate” (do away with) the “original sin” contract, referring the current contract the government has with Sobrepena and his partners.

5. Sobrepena is remembered for the fund mess at the Collage Assurance Plan (CAP). His realty company, cash-strapped Fil-Estate, was stuck with unsellable assets. He swapped these assets with CAP’s cash reserves. Parents who invested their money in CAP didn’t receive the promised money for their children’s tuition, to this day. He was also nvolved in John Hay. His credibility is doubtful and his motivation obvious.

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