GMA News | October 28, 2017

Keeping the Metro Rail Transit Line 3's maintenance provider operational pending the termination of its contract opens the system to "possible sabotage," said a lawmaker looking into the alleged anomalies in the train system.

Transportation chief Arthur Tugade should have suspended the Busan Universal Rail Incorporated's (BURI) maintenance operations on the train line's facilities as he gave it a notice of termination of contract, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Representative Jericho Nograles said at a news forum on Saturday.

Nograles cited as an example of possible sabotage the baby diaper found on one of MRT3's power lines that interrupted train operations for over an hour on October 23.

He was quoted by his staff as saying that the culprits needed to "exert extraordinary efforts" just to place the object on the power line, in an area without a CCTV camera.

He likened the situation to a kind of reprisal of a student or an employee about to be kicked out or fired.

"Kahit nga sa eskwelahan bago mo i-kick out ang isang estudyante kelangan mo munang i-suspend. Kahit sa trabaho bago mo patalsikin ang isang empleyado eh kailangan mo muna itong i-suspend habang gumugulong ang proseso ng termination," Nograles was quoted as saying.

The Department of Transportation has issued a notice of termination of contract to the controversial maintenance provider, which is apparently a nominal shareholder in the joint venture that won the P3.8-billion contract to keep the ailing MRT3 trains running.

BURI disputed the bases of contract termination.

Likewise, Nograles questioned why Marlo Dela Cruz, a "top incorporator of the companies that handled MRT3 maintenance during the Aquino administration" was not included in the graft case current DOTr officials filed against their predecessors.

Last Friday, Nograles claimed that he has access to documents that say all but one of the MRT's 73 Light Rail Vehicle units are equipped with "fake," mismatched parts. The authorized parts, he said, were removed.

A memorandum submitted by MRT3 engineers allegedly show 72 of 73 LRV units are fitted with ABB, ABB-Daimler-Benz or Daimler Chrysler vehicle logic units, instead of the authorized Bombardier.

Nograles has authored resolutions that sought probes into the MRT3's "fake" safety equipment and into the apparently incompatible and consequently unusable train coaches procured by the government from China.

BURI cries foul for being made to take the blame for all the MRT3's ills.

Lat April, the company said it is not solely responsible for the train line's sorry state.