Former Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II slammed the cases filed by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) against him and former Cabinet officials of the Aquino administration, as a ‘lack of accomplishment’ on Wednesday.
Since Roxas was in abroad, he was only informed of the charges because of media reports.
Asked for a reaction, he said, “In a word? Pathetic.”
“Dahil walang mapakitang accomplishment sa mga ipinangako nila, nag-imbento ng kasong walang laman, walang basehan sa katotohanan o sa batas para ipakitang may ginagawa sila (Because they cannot show any accomplishments for all they promised, they invented a case with no substance, and no factual and legal basis just to show that they are doing something),” Roxas added.
At the same time the former Interior Secretary said that this complaint is “laughable at its face.”
He has yet to receive a copy of the complaint so he shall restrain himself from further comments on the matter.
DOTr Undersecretary for Legal Affairs and Procurement Reinier Yebra filed the plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman on Tuesday, over the alleged anomalous contracts for the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) during their stints in office.
Before taking his post in the DILG from 2012-2015, he was the also the trade and industry secretary from 2000-2003, and the transportation and communications secretary from 2011-2012.
Roxas, along with eight more former secretaries are facing the same charges. These include former transportation secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya, former budget secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, former finance secretary Cesar Purisima, former energy secretary Jericho Petilla, former science and technology secretary Mario Montejo, former defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin, former public works and highways secretary Rogelio Singson, and former socioeconomic planning secretary Arsenio Balisacan.
Senator Franklin Drilon advised the DOTr to stop using ‘scapegoats’ and start addressing the main problems in the MRT.
On the other hand, Senate Public Services Committee Chairperson, Senator Grace Poe said that she “expects” the Ombudsman to “act expeditiously” on the case.
Senator Francis Pangilinan said that he is confident that the nine former secretaries can defend themselves.