Malacañang to reveal info from whistleblowers on 'plunder of MRT-3'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 8) — Malacañang will publicly "dissect" corruption in the Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3) management beginning next week, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque announced on Thursday.

Roque said he obtained an initial batch of documents from two whistleblowers who have information on alleged irregularities in the MRT-3 contract.

"I have some documentary evidence already. Perhaps beginning next week I will devote one day a week in disclosing facts and details about the plunder of MRT-3," said Roque.

He said the whistleblowers were former Aquino administration officials and "directly involved in the MRT-3." They came forward about three weeks ago.

Malacañang will turn over the documents to the National Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice.

In an earlier radio interview, Roque said the whistleblowers pointed to a so-called "Pangasinan group" which receives a third of the money meant for maintaining the MRT-3.

Roque said another third goes to "political machinery" and only the remaining third goes to MRT maintenance.

The statements come after the Palace said it was eyeing new charges against previous administration officials for the "miserable performance" of the train line.

Related: Palace eyes new charges vs. BURI, ex-Cabinet officials over MRT mess

Former MRT-3 maintenance provider Busan Universal Rail Inc. and other officials — particularly former Transport Secretary Joseph Abaya, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, and former Budget Secretary Butch Abad — already face an alleged plunder complaint filed by the Department of Transportation before the Office of the Ombudsman.

In 2017, the MRT administration reported 504 breakdowns over 255 operation days or an average of two glitches per day.

The 17-kilometer train line runs the stretch of EDSA, from North Avenue in Quezon City up to Taft in Pasay City.