DOTC-MRT officials are criminally liable – commuter group

15 Aug

A commuter group held a picket-protest today in front of office of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) office in Mandaluyong City this morning to demand accountability for the derailment of an MRT train at the EDSA-Taft station last Wednesday afternoon.
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The Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network said DOTC Sec. Joseph Abaya, MRT Officer-In-Charge Honorito Chaneco, and maintenance contractor Autre Porte Technique Global Inc. (APT Global) should be held criminally liable for what happened.

“We hold the Aquino government, Sec. Abaya and OIC Chaneco criminally liable for their gross neglect of the country’s elevated railway system that has endangered the lives of MRT commuters. In other countries, accidents like this trigger resignations and criminal charges,” Sammy Malunes, RILES Network spokesperson, said.

According to the group, the incident, which can be considered as the “worst accident in MRT history,” was a result of the private contractors’ underspending and profiteering schemes and by the government’s willful abandonment of the country’s public transport system.

“It was an accident waiting to happen ever since the government signed onerous contracts with private investors that gave them the license to underspend on train maintenance in order to rake in bigger profits. The incident is a textbook illustration of what happens when profit rules over social service,” Malunes said.

The RILES Network also demanded the abrogation of onerous contracts which the government entered into with foreign and local investors and said that the government should take over the entire operation of the MRT.

“The accident is a solid basis for the government to junk the contracts with the big capitalist investors. The problem is the government is willing to sacrifice the lives of Filipino commuters to guarantee profits for private contractors such as the APT,” said Malunes.###

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