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Did Abaya fool PNoy?

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Is President Benigno Aquino III being made to look the fool after he was fed with supposedly wrong information by Liberal Party (LP) ally, Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Joseph Abaya?

Boo Chanco explored this possibility in his Philippine Star column, and the dots are really difficult to connect unless you believe that there’s a bit of monkey business going on.

Aquino had earlier bared that the Light Rail Manila Consortium (LRMC) demanded P7.5 billion as compensation for the government’s “failure” to meet its contractual obligations with regard the LRT-1 Baclaran-Bacoor extension project.

The LRMC, which won the P65-billion Public-Private Partnership project (the LRMC being the private component), subsequently denied such demand.

“That means Abaya made a grave misrepresentation to his President. He lied or was he misinformed himself?” the business scribe wrote.

LRMC President Jesus Francisco, Chanco said, pointed out that they cannot pursue any form of redress from the government yet since there has so far been no full assessment of the three-decade old yellow line.

“Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), the lead company in LRMC…[said]…he had no idea where the alleged claims came from, especially since the LRMC was being pointed to as the claimant,” Chanco wrote.

The columnist goes on to quote MVP himself, citing a report on Interakyson: “(W)e’re being made to appear that even before we take over the system, we’re already asking money from the government. Our right to claim has not yet ripened until we take over the system.

“The basis for making any claim has got to be with some fundamental knowledge of the state of the system. Because how can we claim it’s only X number of LRVs (light rail vehicles) if we’re not there inside, right? It’s nonsense,” Pangilinan said.

On top of feeding the P7.5 billion claim to Aquino, Abaya–who sits as president of LP–also sought the release of P500 million for the government “blocked account” that will pay for future penalties to LRMC.

“Why is Abaya so sure there will be future penalties?” the columnist asked. (Randy K. Santiago)

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