MANILA, November 17, 2017 — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) today raised the possibility of sabotage in the train detachment incident that occurred yesterday at the MRT-3 Ayala Station.
In a statement, the DOTr said initial investigation showed that the Messma Card of the decoupled Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) #68, the third car in Train No. 5, was missing.
The Messma Card, it said, functions like a “black box” that records all applied interventions.
The DOTr said according to MRT-3 Safety Chief Technician Ruel Jose, who led the initial investigation, there was “no electrical fault as there was no damage to the mechanical parts of the coupler.”
“Imposibleng magkahiwalay ang coupler kung walang human intervention (It’s not possible for the coupler to get disengaged without human intervention),” the DOTr quoted Jose as saying.
The department then said it was suspecting sabotage or a coverup in the incident.
We ask: What is the motive? Who has the capability of removing the black box? Was this an attempt to cover up a mistake on the operation of Train No. 5? Or was there an effort to sabotage the entire operation? These questions are being addressed right now through proper and scrupulous investigation,” the DOTr said in its statement.
Meanwhile, the DOTr said it has been considering the option of temporarily stopping the operations of the MRT-3 since the first quarter of this year due to numerous instances of breakdowns and other problems.
But it said while Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade is aware of the system’s current condition, “we must also consider the 500,000 commuters that rely on the MRT-3 system daily.”
Basta sa pagsisikap at kasiguruhan ng technical team na ligtas pa rin ang pagsakay sa MRT, tuloy pa rin ang byahe. Bagamat nandyan pa rin ang option na itigil pansamantala ang operation kung ito na talaga ang nararapat na gawin, (Operations will continue with the hard work and assurance of the techincal team that the MRT is still safe. However, temporarily stopping operations is still an option if it is necessary),“ Tugade said.
The DOTr said it and the MRT-3 management “understand the public’s dismay.”
We hear you. We are not belittling the magnitude of the problem, but we assure the public that the maintenance team is doing all it can, and working overtime to ensure the safety of the entire system. In fact, since the MRT-3 was put under internal management, fewer unloading incidents have been recorded and more number of trains are being rolled out consistently.
The MRT-3 problem is not easy. We acknowledge that it cannot be solved overnight. But the government is not giving up. The DOTr will not give up. We will do our best until the Filipino people get the service they deserve,” the DOTr said.