By Patrizia Paola C. Marcelo, Reporter
THE Department of Transportation (DoTr) said Friday there was a “heated incident” between two officials of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), after reports of a physical confrontation between Metro Rail Transit (MRT) General Manager Rodolfo Garcia and the train system’s Director for Operations Michael Capati.
Reports surfaced earlier Friday, with Mr. Capati telling Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade through a message, that Mr. Garcia physically assaulted him “in front of” a meeting with Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John R Batan.
Some reports, however, indicated that the incident happened after, or outside the meeting, not during the meeting.
“We wish to note that it is normal in any organization for there to be, at times, heated management situations, especially with individuals who are passionate about delivering on that organization’s mandate,” Goddess Libiran, DoTr director of communications, said in a message to reporters.
“We would like to therefore appeal to our friends in the media to understand that this is not an overly extraordinary organizational matter, and that the DOTr and MRT-3 will handle this in a professional manner.”
We will continue to understand and manage this matter internally, and solve it as one DOTr family,” she added.
MRT communications officer Aly Narvaez said the meeting was a Joint Advisory Panel with AusAID and ADB, in which they discussed “some plans and strategies being considered to improve MRT-3.”
Ms. Libiran said Mr. Garcia was not part of the meeting. She added that the chief of staff to Mr Tugade will investigate the matter and prepare a report.
“It was an operations meeting and GM was currently doing rounds in the depot during that time. GM was in the depot during the meeting.”
The DoTr currently handles maintenance services of the MRT after it terminated the contract with Busan Universal Rail Inc (BURI) last November.