The Department if Transportation (DOTr) has released a statement stating that the “train detachment” incident that happened at the MRT-3 Ayala station yesterday, 16 November 2017 may have been a deliberate attempt to sabotage the train operations.
According to the DOTr, initial investigation of the unfortunate incident found that the Messma Card of the decoupled Light Rail Vehicle (LRV) #68, the 3rd car in Train No. 5, is missing. The Messma Card functions like a black box that records all applied interventions.
MRT-3 Safety Chief Technician Ruel Jose, who led the initial investigation, said 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. 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.”
Meanwhile, in response to calls to temporarily stop the operations of the MRT-3, the DOTr informs the public to know that this option has been considered since the first quarter of this year. “But, while the DOTr and Secretary Arthur Tugade are 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,” DOTr Sec. Tugade said.
The DOTr 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.”