By Jairus Bondoc | Philippine Star | June 1, 2015
One Gen. Arnulfo Acedera, claiming to be majority owner of Global Epcom, disputed my column of May 15, 2015, on the dilapidated MRT-3 that the firm is supposed to maintain. In a Letter to the Editor last week he employed obfuscation, a cheap trick, to feign the truth.
Like, he said I misreported the COA as ordering DOTC to recover from Global Epcom P52.78 million in waived penalties. He said there is nothing to recover since the sum was never paid. Precisely, that is why the COA is directing DOTC to get the amount – because MRT-3 ex-general manager Al S. Vitangcol dubiously had waived it. Clever use of words cannot hide that.
Acedera denied that Global Epcom benefited from political favors. Yet he evaded mentioning the very proof of it. That is, that Liberal Party-Pangasinan fundraiser-campaigner Marlo dela Cruz is the firm’s “authorized representative” to collect P67 million monthly from DOTC.
Dela Cruz is in Global Epcom’s payroll. In 2012 dela Cruz was chairman of PH Trams, the MRT-3 maintenance firm before Global Epcom entered the picture in 2013 to the present. With dela Cruz in fledgling, undercapitalized PH Trams were other LP officers. DOTC Sec. Joseph Abaya, LP acting president, signed with Vitangcol the PH Trams’ 10-month contract, P517.5 million. They also signed Global Epcom’s contract, over a billion pesos to date. When PH Trams became hot potato due to the Czech ambassador’s exposé of $30-million extortion, DOTC replaced it with Global Epcom. But dela Cruz still was in. How come Acedera, signing as Global Epcom chairman-president, never mentioned dela Cruz?
Global Epcom is known in DOTC to be secretly owned by a big man at the Philippine National Railways. Nonetheless, if Acedera insists on being majority owner, then the BIR and Anti-Money Laundering Council might need to investigate where and how he got the money for it, after decades of meager soldier’s pay.