FORMER Transportation secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya will have his day in court, his successor vowed Thursday after a lawmaker insinuated that Abaya might be liable for plunder after 48 new light rail vehicles purchased under the Aquino administration would remain unusable for the next three years.
“Am I calling for my predecessor to explain his side? Number one, he will have his day in court. When that moment comes, when that time arrives, then so be it. Period,” Transportation Secretary Arturo Tugade told reporters.
“Investigations are ongoing right now. I assure you, sir, once there are substantive proofs to justify the case, then we will do it. But these hanky-pankies, once they are proven, will not go unpunished.”
In a radio interview Thursday, Senator Grace Poe said Abaya “doesn’t deserve any rest” following the onerous purchase of the 48 unusable light rail vehicles from China.
She said Abaya could be held liable for plunder and graft charges.
On Sunday, Tugade’s assistant secretary for rails Cesar Chavez said the 48 LRVs purchased for P3.8 billion would remain unusable until 2020 for lacking any signaling system.
Tugade said he would be getting “international independent party certificates” for the 48 LRVs before the public could ride on them.