Former Cabinet officials of Aquino admin charged with plunder over MRT-3 anomaly, Roxas and Abaya top the list

Nine former Cabinet officials from the administration of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III are facing scrutiny after a plunder case was filed against them.

The Department of Transportation (DoTr) charged the said officials before the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to contract irregularity of MRT-3.

DoTr Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Procurement Ranier Paul Yebra, with two lawyers Giovanni Lopez and Mark Steven Pastor filed the case, on Tuesday.

Former Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Emilio Aguinaldo Abaya and former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas are among on the list in the filed complaint.

Just recently, over the same maintenance deal that the government entered with Busan Universal Rail Inc., (BURI) a case was also lodged against Abaya.

The new 64-page complaint was for the contract with BURI for the general overhaul of light rail vehicles and replacement of the signaling system of MRT-3.

Among on the list are the following former Cabinet members;

former Budget Secretary Florencio (Butch)Abad;

 former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima;,

 former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla;,

 former Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo;

 former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin;,

 former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson; and

 former National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) chief Arsenio Balisacan.

The complaint also include the former MRT General Manager Roman Buenafe and former Transportation Undersecretaries Rene Limcaoco, Catherine Gonzales, and Edwin Lopez.

Yebra pointed out that Abaya and Roxas are the “main plunderers” of the entire scheme.

“Using the MRT-3 project as a fund-raiser, respondent Roxas and Abaya set into motion a grand scheme of turning the DOTC as a bottomless cash cow, entering into one anomalous procurement project after the other,” the 64-page complaint read.

Yebra explained that it all happened during the time that MRT-3 trains and its parts underwent “rapid deterioration”.

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