Maricel Cruz | Manila Standard | October 5, 2017

The House of Representatives' committee on good government and public accountability has threatened to cite in contempt and possibly detain owner of Diamond Pearl Development Corporation, Malo dela Cruz, should he continue to disregard the lawmakers' summons in the light of the construction firm's supply of questionable parts to the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT3).

Dela Cruz is an alleged political operator of defeated presidential candidate Manuel Roxas and the alleged "mystery man" behind the questionable maintenance service contract entered into by the Department of Transportation and the Busan Universal Rail Inc.

"I welcome this move from the Committee chairman. It's high time that we place a lamp on the shady persona of Mr. Dela Cruz. At the very least, he has unwittingly placed the lives of thousands of MRT riders in danger," Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles said Wednesday.

Nograles earlier filed House Resolution 1212 at the House committee on good government and public accountability headed by Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel.

In filing the resolution, Nograles sought an investigation on why Busan Universal Rail Incorporated (BURI), the current maintenance contract provider of the MRT3 has been using fake parts for the 18-year-old train system instead of the original proprietary parts supplied by Bombardier Transportation Signal Ltd.

The questionable parts were reportedly supplied by Diamond Pearl to BURI.

Diamond Pearl lawyer Dennis Amparo attended Wednesday's Committee hearing but Dela Cruz was nowhere to be found.

"After the information given by Busan regarding this inquiry, I was hired by the president, Mr. Wilfredo dela Cruz, to represent them in this case your honor," Amparo told the House panel. Marlo and Wilfredo are siblings.

Pimentel then approved a motion to issue a subpoena against Dela Cruz, who apparently has a negative reputation at the House of Representatives. SAGIP party-List Rep. Rodante Marcoleta made the motion to subpoena Dela Cruz.

"Inform him that if he does not appear, we will seek a show cause order and eventually cite him for contempt. Because I just learned that Mr. Marlo dela Cruz was invited during the 16th Congress and never appeared during the hearings," Pimentel said.

The congressional hearing Wednesday probed the Vehicle Logic Units (VLU) installed by BURI on the individual cars or coaches of the MRT3 since it took over maintenance chores of the system in January 2016.

These parts, worth P2 million each, were reportedly sourced from Diamond Pearl.