MRT CHIEF VITANGCOL SAYS HE RESIGNED, READY FOR LIFESTYLE CHECK

Embattled Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) general manager Al Vitangcol III said on Tuesday that he is ready to face a lifestyle check after stepping down from his post amid new allegations of corruption. In an interview on ANC's Headstart, Vitangcol explained that the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) imposed a preventive suspension on him while conducting an administrative inquiry in connection with a recent expose of STAR columnist Jarius Bondoc. Vitangcol said he decided to resign instead of being temporarily relieved from his post. "This new issue is an entirely different matter. So, I took this opportunity to spare DOTC and of course the present administration," Vitangcol told program host Karen Davila. In his column yesterday, Bondoc alleged that Vitangcol had awarded without bidding a P517.5-million contract to PH Trams in 2012 for a 10-month maintenance of MRT-3 trains. Bondoc revealed that the uncle of Vitangcol's wife, Arturo V. Soriano, is one of the six incorporators-directors of PH Trams. READ MORE....

ALSO: MRT-3 chief gave P517-M contract to uncle-in-law

By Jarius Bondoc --The general manager of the government’s Metro Rail Transit-3 gave his uncle-in-law a P517.5-million service deal in 2012-2013. This is revealed in official records, social networks, photographs, and sources’ accounts. Al S. Vitangcol III, MRT-3 GM, granted the upkeep of trains and tracks to his wife’s uncle, Arturo V. Soriano. Soriano is one of six incorporators-directors of PH Trams, which MRT-3 contracted in Oct. 2012 (see Gotcha, 25 Apr. 2014). Soriano, of 91 San Miguel, Calasiao, Pangasinan, is the province’s chief accountant. He is the brother of Vitangcol’s wife’s mother. Amounting to $1.15 million (P51.75 million) a month, the contract initially was for Oct. 2012 to Apr. 2013. It was twice extended, first to June 2013, then to Aug. 2013. For all ten months, MRT-3 paid PH Trams $11.5 million (P517.5 million). There was no public bidding for the maintenance deal. Vitangcol drafted the terms of reference for the transport department’s negotiations on Oct. 12, 2012, with PH Trams. Vitangcol signed the resulting contract on Oct. 19, 2012, along with Transport Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya and U-Sec. Jose Perpetuo Lotilla. Signing for PH Trams was Soriano’s fellow-incorporator-director Wilson T. de Vera, a long-time U.S. immigrant from Calasiao, where he ran and lost for mayor in 2013. Another signer was Roehl B. Bacar, president of CB&T, with which PH Trams was in joint venture. Vitangcol and de Vera’s wives were childhood neighbors in Calasiao, sources aver. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Vitangcol replaced as head of MRT-3

Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya on Monday ordered the replacement of Al Vitangcol III as general manager of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) following reports that the controversial official gave a P517-million maintenance contract to a relative. It was not clear if Vitangcol was fired, but Vitangcol said in a text message that he had resigned. Vitangcol said his letter of resignation would be made public Tuesday. Michael Sagcal, spokesman for the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), said Abaya, through a “special order,” designated Honorito Chaneco, Light Rail Transit Authority administrator, as officer in charge of MRT-3.“Chaneco will be officer in charge while the allegations are being investigated,” Sagcal said by phone, referring to an internal probe being conducted by the DOTC. Vitangcol’s departure came as transportation officials prepared to face the House committee on good government and public accountability at a public hearing Tuesday. Service contract The latest knock on Vitangcol came from a newspaper column Monday, which alleged that Vitangcol gave the P517-million service contract for MRT-3 to PH Trams, a company established by the uncle of Vitangcol’s wife, Arturo Soriano, and five other investors. The column alleged that no tenders were called for the contract.
Vitangcol declined to comment on the allegations.CONTINUE READING...

(ALSO) Aquino: I don’t really know Vitangcol that well

Former Metro Rail Transit (MRT) general manager Al Vitangcol III should not expect any protection from President Benigno Aquino III in dealing with his latest predicament. The President himself confirmed that the MRT official was relieved from his post and is now under investigation for alleged ties with the winning bidder of a railway project. Aquino at the same time distanced from Vitangcol, saying he does not know him personally despite being a presidential appointee. “Out of curiosity, sino sa inner circle ko si Vitangcol?” the President said in a media interview after attending the 116th anniversary rites of the Philippine Navy at the Naval Station Carlito Cunanan in Palawan. “He looks vaguely familiar but I don’t really know him that well. I let my secretaries decide as to whom they want to work with,” he added. Last Monday, Vitangcol was sacked from his post after he supposedly failed to declare that he had a relative in a company that won a contract to supply tracks and trains for the MRT. When he knew he would be relieved, Vitangcol offered to resign. The President explained that he received a text message from Transportation Secretary Jose Emiliio Abaya about the relief of Vitangcol last Monday night. “We are relieving MRT 3 GM Vitangcol and we’ll appoint LRTA Administrator Joy Chaneco in an acting capacity. We are investigating GM Vitangcol if he knew of the fact that a relative by affinity was a board member,” Abaya told the President in a text message. Aquino said Abaya also received word that Vitangcol intended to resign “but as of last night he has yet to receive the copy of the resignation.” Aquino said he trusts Abaya to investigate the alleged wrongdoing of Vitangcol, saying the transport chief must “take all the necessary steps to ferret out the truth.” “Be that as it may, there is an investigation. I keep telling everybody anything we enter into must be beyond anybody’s reproach,” he said. Aquino said although he wants to “fast forward” the investigation into Vitangcol, due process must be observed.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Contractor defends MRT work

The local firm tasked to handle the repair and maintenance work on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) has defended its performance, saying it cannot be faulted for the system’s decrepit state. “We had discovered a lot of problems in the various systems because of the many poor maintenance practices of the previous long-time maintenance contractor Sumitomo-TESP (TES Philippines),” Roehl Bacar, president of CB&T Philippines, alleged. CB&T leads the joint venture consortium that bagged the contract to repair and maintain the MRT along EDSA on an interim basis from October 2012 to August 2013. He told The STAR they discovered the system’s poor condition shortly after assuming the role of interim maintenance contractor on Oct. 20, 2012. Kiyoshi Morita, formerly TESP president and now president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Philippines, told The STAR in April that TESP had been out of the picture for years and could not be blamed for the MRT’s operational woes. “That was two years ago,” he said. He declined further comment. Filipino firm Aure Porte Technique (APT) Global is the current long-term maintenance contractor for the MRT line on EDSA. CB&T Philippines is the current maintenance contractor for the LRT Line 1. “The system faults are not due to the incapability of the Filipino contractors but of obsolescence of the sub systems not properly addressed by the owners,” Bacar, who is also a Mandaluyong City councilor, said. He said they conducted a five-month system assessment and audit of the MRT system, the result of which was explained in detail in a two-inch thick report. He said CB&T submitted copies of the report to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the MRT Corp. Bacar said the endeavor turned out to be costly as CB&T had to bring in people from the original European equipment manufacturers and suppliers such as French firm Bombardier, which had supplied the line’s signaling system. READ MORE...

(ALSO) Luy files: Politics, showbiz VIPs in Napoles' party list

Prominent personalities from the political sphere, business and entertainment scene are included in the guest list for party hosted by Janet Lim Napoles' JLN Corporation on December 20, 2010. The list is in the files extracted from whistleblower Benhur Luy's hard drive, which was turned over to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee by the National Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday. According to the Excel file, more than 100 people and their families were invited to attend the event, which also doubled as a birthday celebration for a certain "Mommy Lim," possibly pertaining to the death anniversary of alleged "pork" barrel scam mastermind's late mother, Magdalena Luy Lim. Among lawmakers in the list are senators Franklin Drilon, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr., Francis "Chiz" Escudero, former President Joseph Estrada and former Sen. Loi Estrada, former Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza. Retired Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon was also invited. Former Agrarian Reform Secretaries Rene Villa and Nasser Pangandaman, DAR Director Tess Panlilio, Agriculture official Manuel Jarmin and Mayor Rene Maglanque of Pampanga are also tagged. Actress Gretchen Barretto and her partner Antonio Cojuangco, actress Lorna Tolentino, former GMA Network executive Wilma Galvante, hairdresser Ricky Reyes, late society columnist Donnie Ramirez and fashion designer Pepsi Herrera are among the personalities in Napoles' pool of guests. Also included are employees of the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Transportation and Communications, Technology Resource Center and two names in the list purportedly referring to former Abono Rep. Robert Estrella and former Pangasinan Rep. Conrado Estrella III. It is not specified, however, whether all the personalities invited made it to the party. VIEW NAMES OF FAMILIES IN GUEST LIST FILES...


Read Full Stories here:

MRT chief says he resigned, ready for lifestyle check


Outgoing MRT general manager Al Vitangcol III. Image from DOTC website

MANILA, JUNE 2, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  Embattled Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) general manager Al Vitangcol III said on Tuesday that he is ready to face a lifestyle check after stepping down from his post amid new allegations of corruption.

In an interview on ANC's Headstart, Vitangcol explained that the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) imposed a preventive suspension on him while conducting an administrative inquiry in connection with a recent expose of STAR columnist Jarius Bondoc.

Vitangcol said he decided to resign instead of being temporarily relieved from his post.

"This new issue is an entirely different matter. So, I took this opportunity to spare DOTC and of course the present administration," Vitangcol told program host Karen Davila.

In his column yesterday, Bondoc alleged that Vitangcol had awarded without bidding a P517.5-million contract to PH Trams in 2012 for a 10-month maintenance of MRT-3 trains.

Bondoc revealed that the uncle of Vitangcol's wife, Arturo V. Soriano, is one of the six incorporators-directors of PH Trams.

The contract, whose terms of reference were allegedly drawn up by Vitangcol, originally ran from October 2012 to April 2013, with PH Trams being paid $1.15 million or about P51.75 million a month.

Bondoc wrote that the contract was extended twice, to June 2013 and then to August 2013.

Denying Bondoc's allegations, Vitangcol claimed that he did not personally award any contract and that the deal with PH Trams went under the normal bidding process.

He further claimed that Soriano was no longer connected with PH Trams when the government awarded a contract to the company.

The new allegation against Vitangcol surfaced on the eve of the resumption of a congressional inquiry into an alleged attempt by the MRT chief and several others to extort $30 million from Czech company Inekon in July 2012 in the presence of Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar.

Vitangcol said the second expose implicating him is affecting his job as MRT general manager.

"It demoralizes the people within MRT-3 so I felt it would be best for everybody for me to step out," Vitangcol told ANC.

Saying he is ready to face a lifestyle check, Vitangcol believes that his name will be cleared in the future.

"I'm disappointed with the way the government works. But then again, time will tell. Time will heal everything," Vitangcol said. - Louis Bacani

MRT-3 chief gave P517-M contract to uncle-in-law GOTCHA By Jarius Bondoc (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 26, 2014 - 12:00am 111 5231 googleplus6 5


By Jarius Bondoc

The general manager of the government’s Metro Rail Transit-3 gave his uncle-in-law a P517.5-million service deal in 2012-2013. This is revealed in official records, social networks, photographs, and sources’ accounts.

Al S. Vitangcol III, MRT-3 GM, granted the upkeep of trains and tracks to his wife’s uncle, Arturo V. Soriano. Soriano is one of six incorporators-directors of PH Trams, which MRT-3 contracted in Oct. 2012 (see Gotcha, 25 Apr. 2014).

Soriano, of 91 San Miguel, Calasiao, Pangasinan, is the province’s chief accountant. He is the brother of Vitangcol’s wife’s mother.

Amounting to $1.15 million (P51.75 million) a month, the contract initially was for Oct. 2012 to Apr. 2013. It was twice extended, first to June 2013, then to Aug. 2013. For all ten months, MRT-3 paid PH Trams $11.5 million (P517.5 million).

There was no public bidding for the maintenance deal. Vitangcol drafted the terms of reference for the transport department’s negotiations on Oct. 12, 2012, with PH Trams.

Vitangcol signed the resulting contract on Oct. 19, 2012, along with Transport Sec. Joseph Emilio Abaya and U-Sec. Jose Perpetuo Lotilla.

Signing for PH Trams was Soriano’s fellow-incorporator-director Wilson T. de Vera, a long-time U.S. immigrant from Calasiao, where he ran and lost for mayor in 2013. Another signer was Roehl B. Bacar, president of CB&T, with which PH Trams was in joint venture.

Vitangcol and de Vera’s wives were childhood neighbors in Calasiao, sources aver.

At the time the deal was awarded, PH Trams was only two months old, with P625,000 paid-up capital. It had no track record in railways to bag a contract 828 times its funding. It had applied for SEC registration (Company Reg. No. OS201230134) only on Aug. 6, 2012 (see Gotcha, 23 Apr. 2014). The government usually requires service contractors to have experience of at least five years and handling at least half the contracted amount.

Engineer-lawyer Vitangcol has been under fire lately for poor MRT-3 service. Trains, tracks, and signals frequently break down. Passengers suffer long lines under the sun or rain to get onto platforms.

The STAR persisted the past three days to get Vitangcol’s side. Though initially answering questions, he did not reply to texts and calls about the relationships behind the PH Trams deal.

Soriano and de Vera could not be reached.

* * *

The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (R.A. 3019) prohibits public officials from contracting unqualified parties. It further forbids them from directly and indirectly having financial or pecuniary interests in contractors. Contractors are barred if with close personal ties to the official, or related up to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity.

Law school dean Amado Valdez says the provisions intertwine to entrap grafters and cohort kith and kin. Former Ombudsman Simeon Marcelo adds that injury, along with gross and manifest disadvantage to government implicate deeper the grafter.

An uncle or aunt, nephew or niece, including in-law, is in the third degree of relation. With spouses deemed as one, a child or parent is in the first degree; a sibling, grandparent or grandchild in the second. That civil law proceeds from the idea that “love descends, ascends, and spreads,” explains a retired justice and head of the Presidential Anti-Graft Commission.

* * *


Vitangcol and Czech Amb. Josef Rychtar (Composite photos from Manila Bulletin)

Czech Amb. Josef Rychtar has accused Vitangcol and de Vera of attempting to extort $30 million from Czech train maker Inekon. Having supplied the original trains, the firm was angling to refit and retain the MRT-3 system. Corroborated by Inekon chairman Josef Husek, the squeeze play allegedly happened in Makati on July 9, 2012, and Quezon City the next day.

After dinner with Vitangcol, de Vera, and certain Marlo dela Cruz, and Manolo Maralit, the party retired to Rychtar’s residence, without Vitangcol. There, de Vera allegedly demanded the $30 million, which Husek rejected. De Vera stood up twice supposedly to confer by mobile with Vitangcol, then lowered the demand to $2.5 million – rebuffed too.

The next day at his office in de Vera’s presence, Vitangcol allegedly re-stipulated the $2.5 million to the Czechs. He also purportedly required Inekon to partner, 60:40, with an uncle’s company. The Czechs refused.

The money supposedly was so Inekon could proceed to negotiate to supply new trains and refurbish existing ones. The forced partnership was for it to maintain the trains and tracks.

De la Cruz and Maralit a month later would become incorporators-directors of PH Trams. The Czechs said Maralit at first was Inekon’s adviser.

Rychtar broke the story in Apr. 2013. Vitangcol and de Vera at once disavowed any wrongdoing.

Vitangcol said the Czechs are sore with him for opposing their negotiated option over his preferred public bidding. (Dalian Corp. of China eventually bagged the re-fleeting contract,) He insisted he never met with the Czechs for dinner, only at his office. Denying acquaintance, he said it was the Czechs who brought de Vera to him.

De Vera confirmed the dinner and office meetings with Vitangcol and the Czech. He said he attended only to explore business in behalf of PH Trams (which had not yet been formed then). The amounts he stated to the Czechs supposedly were for different projects.

Secretary Abaya hastily cleared Vitangcol in a closed-door inquiry. A year after starting an investigation, the NBI has yet to report. The House committee on good government is to inquire tomorrow into the attempted extortion. Authorities are ignoring its aftermath.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Vitangcol replaced as head of MRT-3 By Miguel R. Camus Philippine Daily Inquirer
12:50 am | Tuesday, May 27th, 2014
 


Al Vitangcol III was replaced Monday as general manager of the Metro Rail Transit 3 following reports that the controversial official gave a P517-million maintenance contract to a relative. INQUIRER PHOTOS/LYN RILLON


MANILA, Philippines—Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya on Monday ordered the replacement of Al Vitangcol III as general manager of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) following reports that the controversial official gave a P517-million maintenance contract to a relative.

It was not clear if Vitangcol was fired, but Vitangcol said in a text message that he had resigned.

Vitangcol said his letter of resignation would be made public Tuesday.

Michael Sagcal, spokesman for the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), said Abaya, through a “special order,” designated Honorito Chaneco, Light Rail Transit Authority administrator, as officer in charge of MRT-3.

“Chaneco will be officer in charge while the allegations are being investigated,” Sagcal said by phone, referring to an internal probe being conducted by the DOTC.

Vitangcol’s departure came as transportation officials prepared to face the House committee on good government and public accountability at a public hearing Tuesday.

Service contract

The latest knock on Vitangcol came from a newspaper column Monday, which alleged that Vitangcol gave the P517-million service contract for MRT-3 to PH Trams, a company established by the uncle of Vitangcol’s wife, Arturo Soriano, and five other investors. The column alleged that no tenders were called for the contract.

Vitangcol declined to comment on the allegations.

The DOTC also declined to comment.

But Sagcal said the DOTC was investigating “new allegations involving GM Vitangcol and the MRT-3 maintenance contract.”

Inekon extortion try

The investigation is separate from an ongoing probe into allegations that Vitangcol tried to extort $30 million from the Czech train maker Inekon Group in exchange for a contract for 48 new coaches for MRT-3 in July 2012.

The alleged extortion attempt was disclosed by Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Josef Rychtar earlier this year.

Vitangcol denied the allegations but members of the Senate urged Rychtar to bring charges against the MRT-3 chief.

The DOTC last week said it would uphold transparency in the investigation of Rychtar’s charges.

The $86.4-million contract for new train coaches eventually went to China’s Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co.

The new coaches will help ease congestion in the MRT-3, which carries more than half a million commuters daily.
Originally posted: 8:42 pm | Monday, May 26th, 2014

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Aquino: I don’t really know Vitangcol that well by Genalyn Kabiling
May 27, 2014

PUERTO PRINCESA, Palawan — Former Metro Rail Transit (MRT) general manager Al Vitangcol III should not expect any protection from President Benigno Aquino III in dealing with his latest predicament.

The President himself confirmed that the MRT official was relieved from his post and is now under investigation for alleged ties with the winning bidder of a railway project.

Aquino at the same time distanced from Vitangcol, saying he does not know him personally despite being a presidential appointee.

“Out of curiosity, sino sa inner circle ko si Vitangcol?” the President said in a media interview after attending the 116th anniversary rites of the Philippine Navy at the Naval Station Carlito Cunanan in Palawan.

“He looks vaguely familiar but I don’t really know him that well. I let my secretaries decide as to whom they want to work with,” he added.

Last Monday, Vitangcol was sacked from his post after he supposedly failed to declare that he had a relative in a company that won a contract to supply tracks and trains for the MRT. When he knew he would be relieved, Vitangcol offered to resign.

The President explained that he received a text message from Transportation Secretary Jose Emiliio Abaya about the relief of Vitangcol last Monday night.

“We are relieving MRT 3 GM Vitangcol and we’ll appoint LRTA Administrator Joy Chaneco in an acting capacity. We are investigating GM Vitangcol if he knew of the fact that a relative by affinity was a board member,” Abaya told the President in a text message.

Aquino said Abaya also received word that Vitangcol intended to resign “but as of last night he has yet to receive the copy of the resignation.”

Aquino said he trusts Abaya to investigate the alleged wrongdoing of Vitangcol, saying the transport chief must “take all the necessary steps to ferret out the truth.”

“Be that as it may, there is an investigation. I keep telling everybody anything we enter into must be beyond anybody’s reproach,” he said.

Aquino said although he wants to “fast forward” the investigation into Vitangcol, due process must be observed.

FROM PHILSTAR

Contractor defends MRT work By Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) | Updated June 1, 2014 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - The local firm tasked to handle the repair and maintenance work on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) has defended its performance, saying it cannot be faulted for the system’s decrepit state.

“We had discovered a lot of problems in the various systems because of the many poor maintenance practices of the previous long-time maintenance contractor Sumitomo-TESP (TES Philippines),” Roehl Bacar, president of CB&T Philippines, alleged.

CB&T leads the joint venture consortium that bagged the contract to repair and maintain the MRT along EDSA on an interim basis from October 2012 to August 2013.

He told The STAR they discovered the system’s poor condition shortly after assuming the role of interim maintenance contractor on Oct. 20, 2012.

Kiyoshi Morita, formerly TESP president and now president of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Philippines, told The STAR in April that TESP had been out of the picture for years and could not be blamed for the MRT’s operational woes.

“That was two years ago,” he said. He declined further comment.

Filipino firm Aure Porte Technique (APT) Global is the current long-term maintenance contractor for the MRT line on EDSA. CB&T Philippines is the current maintenance contractor for the LRT Line 1.

“The system faults are not due to the incapability of the Filipino contractors but of obsolescence of the sub systems not properly addressed by the owners,” Bacar, who is also a Mandaluyong City councilor, said.

He said they conducted a five-month system assessment and audit of the MRT system, the result of which was explained in detail in a two-inch thick report. He said CB&T submitted copies of the report to the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) and the MRT Corp.

Bacar said the endeavor turned out to be costly as CB&T had to bring in people from the original European equipment manufacturers and suppliers such as French firm Bombardier, which had supplied the line’s signaling system.

“I doubt if we earned money from that contract because of all the costs we had taken on for that audit,” Bacar said, adding that they did not even charge the DOTC for the audit.

“Other consultants would have charged dearly to conduct such a big and comprehensive audit,” Bacar said.

He said that in their assessment, they found out that TESP allegedly committed numerous questionable maintenance actions, including making do with deteriorated parts or equipment or using non-original components such as traction motors, air-conditioning units and wheel and axle assembly.

He said that based on the audit, vital parts were never replaced despite the threats they posed to safety.

“All of the traction motors are beyond their useful life, having logged more than one million kilometers. This is based on the assessment of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Gerken, that rail industry standard requires all of the traction motors be replaced for this model of trains,” the report said. “The actual average mileage of the traction motor in MRT3 is 1,500,000 km.”

Bacar also alleged design flaws in the electrical system as well as the previous maintenance contractor’s cannibalizing Car No. 70 for vital parts for use as “rotational spares.”

“Other parts were transferred to other cars, presumably to cope with spare parts shortage due to lack of plan and the uncertainty of contract extension,” the audit report read.

The report said a design flaw in the electrical system may have triggered the fire in one of the trains near the Kamuning-GMA station in November 2012 or a month after the PH Trams-CB&T joint venture consortium took over as MRT maintenance contractor.

“Upon interim takeover, 60 percent of the controllers are not original parts (OEM), including the sensors. Thirty-nine compressors that are supposed to be operating by pair or simultaneously had become a single unit, resulting to ACU (air-conditioning unit) system loss and inefficiency,” the report read.

“All ACU contactors are burned out and have zero rotational spares,” it added.

“The OEM has constantly reminded the previous maintenance provider that the condenser and evaporator fan motor safety should not be bypassed,” the audit report said.

“Their practice of in-house windings and repair of the motors is never recommended, as it is a definite fire and smoke hazard if the motors overheat during operations,” it also said.

The report also said that worn-out gearbox housings were not properly replaced and maintained and that gear oil and grease used did “not correspond to required usage specifications.”

Ingenuity

Bacar said Filipino rail maintenance contractors deserve credit for keeping the MRT running despite the poor condition of its systems and equipment.

He argued that the persistent glitches that plagued the MRT in the past weeks, especially in the days before the Holy Week, were a result of the MRT management’s alleged failure to address several critical systems issues.

He said such concerns could only be addressed through an upgrade of the systems and not through maintenance.

The CB&T audit group also found flaws in MRT’s rail tracks.

“It is suspected that the composition of the rail is not of European origin and standards,” it said, even as it recommended a “thorough and detailed third party assessment” on the condition of the tracks.

“This will determine whether there is a rail defect due to initial manufacturing imperfections of the rail or track defects that are exclusively a result of train traffic or poor track maintenance of the previous maintenance provider,” it added.

Furthermore, there were deficiencies in the installation of windshields of the MRT trains, the report stated.

Luy files: Politics, showbiz VIPs in Napoles' party list (philstar.com) | Updated May 30, 2014 - 12:55pm 20 977 googleplus0 0


Photo showing "pork barrel" scam principal whistleblower Benhur Luy's hard drives.

MANILA, Philippines — Prominent personalities from the political sphere, business and entertainment scene are included in the guest list for party hosted by Janet Lim Napoles' JLN Corporation on December 20, 2010.

The list is in the files extracted from whistleblower Benhur Luy's hard drive, which was turned over to the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee by the National Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday.

According to the Excel file, more than 100 people and their families were invited to attend the event, which also doubled as a birthday celebration for a certain "Mommy Lim," possibly pertaining to the death anniversary of alleged "pork" barrel scam mastermind's late mother, Magdalena Luy Lim.

Among lawmakers in the list are senators Franklin Drilon, Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon Revilla Jr., Francis "Chiz" Escudero, former President Joseph Estrada and former Sen. Loi Estrada, former Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza. Retired Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff Gen. Hermogenes Esperon was also invited.

Former Agrarian Reform Secretaries Rene Villa and Nasser Pangandaman, DAR Director Tess Panlilio, Agriculture official Manuel Jarmin and Mayor Rene Maglanque of Pampanga are also tagged.

Actress Gretchen Barretto and her partner Antonio Cojuangco, actress Lorna Tolentino, former GMA Network executive Wilma Galvante, hairdresser Ricky Reyes, late society columnist Donnie Ramirez and fashion designer Pepsi Herrera are among the personalities in Napoles' pool of guests.

Also included are employees of the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Transportation and Communications, Technology Resource Center and two names in the list purportedly referring to former Abono Rep. Robert Estrella and former Pangasinan Rep. Conrado Estrella III.

It is not specified, however, whether all the personalities invited made it to the party.

A copy of the guest list is shown below:











 

 


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE