‘MRT 7 project plunder of funds for President’s uncle’

by Dean Lacandazo

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Progressive soon Fernando Hicap said that the MRT 7 project which will be 23 kilmeters long with 14 stations will only benefit President Aquino's favored corporate 'partners'. | Graphics by Max Santiago/Manila Today
Progressive solon Fernando Hicap said that the MRT 7 project which will be 23 kilometers long with 14 stations will only benefit President Aquino’s favored corporate ‘partners’. | Graphics by Max Santiago/Manila Today

Anakpawis party-list said that the planned MRT 7 Project, the biggest and most-funded initiative under the Benigno Aquino III administration’s flagship economic program Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will only benefit the president’s uncle Danding Cojuangco, through his Universal LRT Corporation, the Ayala conglomerate, Henry Sy’s SM Development Corporation, and communications mogul Manny Pangilinan and not the people.

Worth P63.7 billion, the project will displace 1,250 farmers in Barangay Tungkong Manga the contested 300-hectare agricultural land controlled by Greg Araneta, a relative of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. Also, the project threaten to displace 40,000 residents of Pangarap Village in Caloocan City and thousands more in other parts of Caloocan and Quezon City.

Anakpawis Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said “The Aquino government is willing to sacrifice the livelihood and homes of farmers and urban residents to give way to the whims of his uncle and cronies on their ambitious PPP project. MRT 7 project is a loud example of brazen plunder of public funds.”

Ka Tonying Flores a leader of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) joined his group's protest earlier at the LRT Monumento station denouncing the 'mafia-style' scheme of clinching big government projects. | Photo from KMP Facebook account.
Ka Tonying Flores a leader of Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) joined his group’s protest earlier at the LRT Monumento station denouncing the ‘mafia-style’ scheme of clinching big government projects. | Photo from KMP Facebook account.

PPP projects, as stipulated in their contracts, guarantee profits to their private partners which in the case of MRT 7, are Aquino relatives, allies and election campaign funders. The bulk of the cost of the project comes from a Japanese loan that the Filipino people would be shoulder over several years as it becomes government debt.

Hindi makikinabang ang mga mamamayan sa proyektong MRT 7 dahil kagaya ng MRT at LRT mas uunahin din nito ang pagbawi sa investment at tubo kesa sa serbisyo. Dapat itong tutulan di lamang ng mga magsasaka ng Tungkong Mangga at mga residente na dadaanan ng riles ng MRT 7 gayundin ng mga mamamayan na magdurusa sa pagbabayad ng uutangin ng gobyerno para sa proyektong MRT 7 ” (The people will not benefit from the MRT 7 project, because similar to MRT and LRT, return of investment and rate of profit will come before service. The farmers of Tungkong Mangga and the residents whose homes will be run over the railway as well as people who will be burdened by the government debt for the MRT 7 project should object to this project.) Hicap concluded.

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