Ex-LRTA chief denies link to LRT-2 deal

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Former Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) administrator and incumbent Philippine National Railways general manager Jeremy Regino has denied any involvement in the allegedly anomalous upgrade of three train sets of LRT Line 2 (LRT-2) amounting to P220 million.

“At the time the alleged contract on train propulsion was signed, I was not in any way connected to the LRTA, nor did I have any iota of participation in it,” Regino said in a statement on Thursday night.

He said his inclusion in the complaint “may have a motive other than any patriotic reason.”

Regino said he may pursue legal action against the proponents of the “malicious complaint.”

He was referring to the complaint filed by lawyer and anti-graft advocate Gerry Francisco before the Office of the Ombudsman.

In his complaint, Francisco said Regino, current LRTA administrator Hernando Cabrera and seven other former and incumbent officials of LRTA must be investigated on charges of graft and violating the government procurement law.

Francisco said Regino and the other LRTA officials must also be held liable for the administrative offenses of grave misconduct, gross incompetence, gross neglect of duty and serious dishonesty.

Francisco’s complaint stemmed from the alleged unlawful upgrade of three trains of LRT-2 by local company Multiscan Corp. and Woojin Industrial Machinery Co. Ltd. of Korea.

The upgrade works supposedly included the installation and testing of train monitoring and propulsion sytems of Woojin Korea.

Francisco said the “upgrade works” were not included in the five-year LRT-2 maintenance contract awarded in 2018 to the joint venture of APT Global Inc., the Ramoses’ Multiscan Corp. and Opus Land Inc. (AMSCO-JV) involving 10 train sets.

Francisco said that because of the unlawful upgrade works, three “good and running trainsets” of LRT-2 had to be pulled out, causing lost revenues for the government of P247 million in 301 days.

He said his computation was based on the average daily income of each trainset of LRT-2 amounting P911,680.

Furthermore, Francisco said that while the maintenance of 10 trainsets under the LRTA’s five-year contract with AMSCO-JV only amounted to P223 million, the maintenance cost for the three trainsets that underwent the upgrade had reached P220 million.

In his complaint, Francisco said that it was “during Regino’s term as LRTA administrator that the acts complained of were committed.”

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