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Speaker threatens to impeach officials who block MRT-LRT common station

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (file)
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez threatened to muster the House of Representatives to impeach officials who try to block the construction of the common station from the Metro Rail and Light Rail Transit systems through a temporary restraining order.

At a hearing, Alvarez told officials of the Department of Transportation to begin construction of the common station based on the design approved in 2009 by the National Economic Development Authority.

Meron ng budget ‘yan, itayo n’yo na ‘yang terminal na ‘yan (There’s already a budget, build that terminal). Regardless of the possibility of a TRO, start that project,” he said.

Pera ng gobyerno ‘yan, project ng gobyerno ‘yan, bakit iti-TRO?… Subukin nilang i-TRO, ii-impeach natin, hindi ako nagbibiro ditto (That’s government money, that’s a government project, why issue a TRO?… Let them try issuing a TRO, we will impeach them, I am not joking),” he added.

Although Alvarez did not mention which officials he might ask the House to impeach, the government officials who may be removed through impeachment are the president, vice president, justices of the Supreme Court, members of constitutional commissions (Elections, Civil Service and Audit), and the Ombudsman.

Earlier this year, the DOTr signed a memorandum of agreement with private stakeholders for the construction of a P2.8-billion common station linking Light Railway Transit (LRT) Line 1 and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Lines 3 and 7 between SM City North EDSA and Ayala’s newer Trinomal mall.

Several lawmakers, however, pointed out that the common station approved in 2009 by the NEDA’s Investment Coordinating Council on the recommendation of the then Department of Transportation and Communications, which was to be located at the SM City North EDSA Annex would cost less and offer passengers easier access from one train line to the other.

Alvarez reminded the DoTr to think of the interest of the public and not of businessmen in pursuing the common station project.

Huwag na tayong maglokohan, isa lang ang layunin natinKung ano ang convenient sa kanila (public), iyon ang gawin natin (Leet’s not fool ourselves, we all have one goal. Whatever is convenient for them is what we should do),” he said.