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By Prince Golez

Malacañang said it respect the dismissal of the graft complaints against former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya over the allegedly anomalous Metro Rail Transit-3 maintenance contract with Busan Universal Rail, Inc.

“Desisyon po iyan ng hukuman, we will respect it at titingnan po natin kung anong pupuwedeng maging course of action ng gobyerno laban diyan sa desisyon na iyan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing Tuesday.

Roque said the Palace will leave it to the discretion of the special prosecutor to get the necessary relief.

“We respect the decision of the courts and we leave it to the special prosecutor kung anong remedy ang susunod na gagawin nila,” according to him.

In its 51-page decision the Ombudsman overturned its June 28, 2020 ruling ordering the filing of graft charges against Abaya and 16 others, saying the problems hounding the MRT-3 operations were encountered during the implementation of the contract, not during the bidding process.

The anti-graft court also argued that Busan JV/BURI had already been penalized for the problems that cropped up in the implementation of the project through deductions in their payments under the contract and, subsequently, pre-termination of the contract.

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