Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas | GMA News | October 27, 2017

A lawmaker, who has sought an investigation into the Metro Rail Transit Line 3's (MRT-3) anomalies, on Saturday called Busan Universal Rail, Inc. (BURI) a "fake" maintenance provider for the ailing train service.

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Representative Jericho Nograles said BURI was illegally occupying space at the MRT-3 depot because no contract shows it is officially the train line's maintenance provider, according to a report by Manny Vargas on Super Radyo dzBB.

The P3.8-billion contract that exists with the Department of Transportation (formerly the Department of Transportation and Communication) names Busan Transportation Corporation, Edison Development and Construction, Tramat Mercantile, Inc., TMICorp Inc., and Castan Corporation Joint Venture ("Joint Venture of Busan") as the MRT3's maintenance provider.

BURI has a nominal 4.7-percent share in the joint venture.

In fact, it was incorporated merely three days before the contract was signed, meaning it was not legally part of the government bidding process — which former transportation officials supposedly helped facilitate, according to the graft case filed by the DOTr against them.

Nograles reportedly said he does not know why BURI's services have not yet been terminated when it has "done nothing" to address the MRT3's poor performance, marked by "technical problems" that interrupt operations almost on a daily basis.

On October 20, the DOTR has already served BURI a notice to terminate its maintenance contract. The maintenance provider fired back with a statement that said DOTr's allegations are "bereft of factual and legal basis."

Nograles said the existing service contract was non-binding because it was signed by former Undersecretary for Operations Edwin Lopez instead of former transportation chief Joseph Emilio Abaya.

The lawmaker is among those actively assailing the glitch-ridden train service's maintenance providers and managing agency.

In August, he filed a resolution seeking a probe into the alleged purchase and installation of fake train safety equipment on the MRT3. In May, he asked Congress to look into the unusable coaches purchased by the government from China.

He has also constantly released statements critiquing irregularities in the management of the MRT3.