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Slew of cases vs Aquino allies a diversionary tactic by Duterte admin

dotr files plunder complaint abaya roxas

TONS OF DOCUMENTS. The Department of Transportation (DOTr) files on Tuesday, November 21, 2017, a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman against former Cabinet members in the Aquino administration, including former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Transportation Secretary Jun Abaya, over the allegedly anomalous maintenance contract for the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3). (INQUIRER.net / Jullianne Love de Jesus)

Members of the “Magnificent Seven” bloc in the House of Representatives slammed the Duterte administration for filing a slew of complaints against the allies of former President Benigno Aquino III, the latest of which was the plunder case against nine Aquino Cabinet members over the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) mess.

“Is there anything new?”  Albay first district Rep. Edcel Lagman said in a press conference on Tuesday when asked to react on the cases filed against allies of the Aquino administration.

Another opposition lawmaker, Akbayan Rep. Tomasito Villarin, said the plunder case against nine of Aquino’s allies, including former Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas and former Transportation secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, was a mere part of the current administration’s “blame game.”

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Villarin said the Duterte administration was simply trying to divert public attention from its incompetence by blaming former officials.

“The incompetence that’s happening now in the MRT while they’re for almost two years in office, they have to deflect in the filing of cases,” Villarin said.

Earlier Tuesday, the Department of Transportation filed plunder, graft and violation of government procurement act against Roxas, Abaya, former Budget secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, former Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo and former National Economic Development Authority chief Arsenio Balisacan.

DOTr alleged that Roxas and Abaya, in conspiracy with other Cabinet members and former Transportation officials, amassed wealth from questionable maintenance contracts for the MRT-3.

The DOTr likewise included in their complaint sheet former MRT General Manager Roman Buenafe; former Transportation undersecretaries Rene Limcaoco, Catherine Gonzales, and Edwin Lopez; former Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) officials; and officials of BURI; and a certain Marlo Dela Cruz.

A criminal complaint was also filed recently against another Liberal Party stalwart Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice and five others for allegedly falsifying documents regarding their mining operations in Tubay, Agusan del Norte province.

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