MANILA— Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday said that she wanted more elaborate answers to the question, “Who is Marlo dela Cruz?” as his name repeatedly popped up during the previous Senate hearing into the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) problems.
Reports showed that Dela Cruz is one of the incorporators of PH Trams, the maintenance provider of the MRT-3 from October 2012 to September 2013. He was also reportedly an incorporator of the joint venture of Global-APT JV from September 2013 to July 2015 and an ally of the Liberal Party (LP).
Dela Cruz’s brother, William, is also reportedly the general manager of Busan Universal Rail Inc. (BURI), the existing maintenance provider of MRT.
Dela Cruz was not present in the second Senate hearing into the MRT-3 problems on Tuesday, which was led by Sen. Grace Poe.
Poe, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Services, said that the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms (OSAA) failed to serve a subpoena Dela Cruz since he no longer resides in the address given to the committee.
She said that her office, however, received a letter from Dela Cruz’s legal counsel in his Sandiganbayan case involving his culpability surrounding the MRT maintenance contract anomalies, lawyer Richard Leonard Cruz.
The senator said that she has already asked the OSAA to proceed to the Dela Cruz’s lawyer’s office to furnish a copy of the subpoena and secure the right address.
Meanwhile, Poe asked Comm Builders And Technology Phils., Corp (CB&T) President Roehl Bacar to “shed light” on Dela Cruz’s identity as they used to be business partners.
Bacar simply told Poe said that PH Trams approached his company for MRT-3 maintenance.
Former MRT-3 General Manager Al Vitangcol, for his part, said that he was surprised by the team-up between PH Trams and CB&T. He had no authority to order bids of projects as ordered by then Transport Secretary Mar Roxas. After Roxas, Joseph Emilio Abaya succeeded him.
Vitangcol currently faces numerous charges of graft and extortion before the Sandiganbayan for alleged corruption in the MRT-3.
In last week’s hearing, Abaya admitted signing the contract between PH Trams and CB&T “in good faith” despite not knowing the “particulars.”
Abaya, who was newly-appointed Transport chief that time, said that he did not want to be a “Doubting Thomas” otherwise MRT-3 operations would have stopped in October 2012.
Poe thought it suspicious why the now defunct Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) decided to award the contract to PH-Trams which was only incorporated two months before it was awarded the MRT 3 maintenance contract.
The company also had only PHP625,000 in paid-up capital but it was awarded a PHP54 million per month maintenance contract.