Southrail memo also missing
The Philippine Star
After the disappearance of the original document signed by the government with ZTE Corp. of China, another project document has been reported missing,A Senate resolution was filed Wednesday censuring Philippine National Railways general manager Jose Ma. Sarasola II for the "loss" or withholding of a copy of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the PNR and the China National Technical Import-Export on the construction of the Southrail project.Under Resolution No. 316, Sen. Jamby Madrigal said Sarasola must be compelled to submit the documents related to the Southrail project to ferret out the truth on charges of corruption surrounding the deal.The senator said she wrote Sarasola on Feb. 13 asking for a copy of the MOA between the Philippines and China on the Southrail, to which the PNR chief replied on Feb. 14 that they were still looking for it. On Feb. 19, Madrigal said she again inquired about the MOA and said the letter of Sarasola on Feb. 14 was tantamount to a cover up as it was hard to believe such an important document could not be found.Madrigal said that on Feb. 20, Sarasola claimed they still could not find the MOA signed on April 27, 2005 and that it might have been lost.Madrigal said she could not understand how such important documents could be lost, like what happened to the original contract of the national broadband network (NBN) deal signed in Boao, China by the Philippine government and ZTE Corp. of China."They are either very mad or very bad. It’s quite stupid for them to say they lost it, they lose everything," Madrigal said.Madrigal, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manuel Roxas II have sought an investigation into the Southrail project that was also said to be overpriced like the NBN and the Northrail deals.Madrigal said she was not convinced that the Southrail agreement could not be produced because various media reports have quoted Sarasola as the source for details about the project. "To tolerate such denial by the PNR general manager is to tolerate purported corrupt acts," Madrigal said."This is another cover up. Is this the tactic of the Arroyo administration?" Madrigal added.Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, said the hearing on the Southrail project would be held after the Holy Week break of the Senate.