Lawmaker seeks probe of ‘fake’ safety equipment parts for MRT 3

MANILA -- An administration lawmaker has asked the House of Representatives to look into the purchase of alleged fake safety equipment for the signaling system of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 from a dubious supplier.

In a statement on Tuesday, Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles revealed that a certain Marlo Dela Cruz is the owner of Diamond Pearl Development Corporation, a dubious construction supply firm that supplies the Busan Universal Rail Incorporated (BURI) maintenance provider with spare parts for MRT 3.

Nograles said Dela Cruz is the "mystery man" who is being tagged as the mastermind behind the controversies hounding the MRT 3 and is one of the three individuals accused by Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar of extorting USD 30 million from Czech train maker Inekon.

"This is very, very dangerous. Using fake spare parts for a very critical component such as safety equipment for signaling system is a criminal act. Our people's lives and limbs are in danger each time they take the MRT 3 because the train system uses fake safety components," Nograles said.

"This maintenance service contract of MRT3 is becoming messier and messier. Now we have discovered that we don't only have a fake contract but our MRT 3 also have fake spare parts!" he said.

In filing House Resolution 1212, Nograles said BURI's purchase of PHP4 million worth of fake replacement parts for the safety equipment installed in the MRT 3 signaling system is an evident disregard of passenger safety.

Nograles said Diamond Pearl is not an authorized supplier and distributor of Bombardier Transportation Signal Ltd, which owns the proprietary parts for the safety equipment of MRT3 signaling system.

The lawmaker said this violates the terms of reference for the maintenance of MRT 3 which provides that the purchase of parts shall be made only under accredited and authorized suppliers and distributors.

He said the second source of service interruptions in the MRT 3 is the signaling system or safety system with 21 interruptions from January 2016 to July 2017.

Based on data from the MRT Control Center in 2016, the MRT 3 experienced the most number of service interruptions in its lifetime with 58 under BURI. As for January to July 2017, MRT 3 already has 38 service interruptions.

The safety equipment for the MRT 3's signaling system is crucial in ensuring the safety of its passengers as these components basically control the train speeds and keep them apart to avoid collisions, sudden brakes, and other risks, the lawmaker noted.

Source: Philippine News Agency