Cayetano blames MMDA chief for floods

Posted at 08/15/2012 9:18 PM | Updated as of 08/16/2012 2:48 AM

MANILA  (UPDATED) - Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano blamed the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for the massive flooding in Metro Manila during monsoon rains last week, and called on the Senate to investigate the matter.
 
In a privilege speech on Wednesday, Cayetano criticized MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino's delayed approval of proposals to purchase thousands of liters of fuel for pumping stations.

Citing copies of purchase requests sent to Tolentino's office, Cayetano said MMDA engineer Michael Doce asked the agency to buy 28,000 liters of diesel each for the Hagonoy and Labasan pumping stations as early as July 12.

Tolentino approved the request 21 days after, and the fuel was delivered on August 8 or a day after floods began to submerge the metropolis.
 
As a result, the Hagonoy and Labasan stations did not work, affecting the pumping station in Taguig, Cayetano's hometown.
 
"Paano po kung hindi naman pala ang ulan, hindi naman pala man-made ang baha, kundi MMDA-made o gawa rin pala ng ilang opisyal ng MMDA na nakalimutang gawin ang trabaho nila?" Cayetano said. "Because of this, they stole lives, they stole properties. They cheated us billions of pesos that were put into flood control."
 
Cayetano said the officials that the MMDA sacked in connection with the flooding were mere scapegoats.
 
"Kawawa naman ang mga taga-MMDA, kasalanan ng iba tapos ang sinisisi, mga hamak na engineer," he said.
 
Aside from a Senate investigation, Cayetano also wants the Commission on Audit to check the MMDA's supplier of fuel for the pumping stations for possible overpricing.