by Robertzon Ramirez | The Philippine Star | February 11, 2016

MANILA, Philippines – Metro Rail Transit Holdings chairman Robert John Sobrepeña yesterday blamed Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas for the contract mess that the light train company is facing.

Sobrepeña said the series of events leading to the current state of the Metro Rail or MRT actually started when Roxas was secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications.

“It was under Roxas’ term that the Sumitomo contract was not renewed. That was the first mistake,” Sobrepeña pointed out.

The second mistake, he added, also happened during Roxas’ term when a contract was negotiated with PH Trams, which was reported as being an undercapitalized and inexperienced firm.

When Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya signed the contract allegedly laid down by Roxas, it became the third mistake, Sobrepeña said.

“As a Cabinet secretary, you should read what you sign because that gave finality to the PH Trams contract,” Sobrepeña stressed.

He said it was Abaya who first pointed to Roxas as being mainly liable for the MRT mess.

“It is something that the courts should look into,” Sobrepeña said when asked if Roxas should be held liable along with Abaya. “I’m just quoting Secretary Abaya when he (denied liability) because he signed the contract when he was only two days in office. If that is his excuse, then he is saying that it was his predecessor who made the contract and that’s none other than Secretary Roxas.”

Liberal Party member and Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez defended Roxas, saying the latter’s public record speaks for itself.

He added that Sobrepeña should be the “last person to consult when it comes to credibility and integrity.”