MANILA, Philippines — Transportation Undersecretary Cesar Chavez on Sunday said the National Bureau of Investigation would handle the probe into the decoupling incident of the coaches of the MRT-3 last Thursday.
In a statement, Chavez said he had a two-hour meeting with the NBI’s Special Action Unit, which would lead the MRT investigation. He said he already conveyed the message of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade that the Department of Transportation and the MRT-3 would fully cooperate in the investigation
“We thank the NBI for immediately forming a team of investigators,” Chavez said.
“DOTr and MRT will no longer make any statement regarding the investigation. Hawak na po ito ng NBI. Kung may statement man, sila na po ang magbibigay sa mga susunod na araw, (It is already being handled by the NBI. If there will be any statement in the coming days, it will be coming from them),” he added.
According to Chavez, the investigation would cover the decoupling incident and the missing messma card, commonly referred to as the black box of the light rail vehicle.
Chavez also met with MRT-3 Director for Operations Engr. Mike Capati, MRT Safety and Security Unit chief retired Major Willy Serano, his assistant Jess Duque and lawyer Dona Samson from the DOTr Office of the Undersecretary for Legal.
BURI denies sabotage plot
Meanwhile, the former maintenance provider of the MRT-3, Busan Universal Rail Inc., denied sabotaging the train and being involved in the decoupling of coaches last Thursday.
BURI spokesperson Charles Mendoza said they do not think they are among the persons of interest mentioned by Chavez.
“Wala kaming responsibilidad o involvement sa mga nangyari. Alam niyo naman, sila na ang nagpapatakbo ngayon, (We have no responsibility or involvement in the incident. You know that the government already manages the MRT,” Mercado said in a radio interview with dzMM.
The MRT-3 decoupling incident occurred a week after the government terminated the contract of BURI as its maintenance provider.
On Saturday, Chavez said there were several persons of interest in the MRT-3 incident but he refused to identify these persons pending the NBI probe.
The MRT-3 decoupling incident at the Ayala Station last Thursday disrupted train operations and forced hundreds of commuters to walk to the next station.