Former Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson offered to quit his post as president and CEO of the Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) after he was confronted by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas about the legality of his taking such a position.
LRMC operates Line 1 of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and is a party in the agreement for the construction of the common station linking the LRT and the Metro Rail Transit systems.
At a hearing by the House transportation committee, Alvarez reminded Singson of the one-year prohibition for public officials from having financial or material interest in any transaction with their previous office under Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The House leader said he was concerned that Singson might face litigation for accepting the offer to head the LRMC.
But Singson said he had consulted the Civil Service Commission about whether he could accept the position, and was told he could unless it directly involved companies with dealings with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
He conceded, however, that there might be a different interpretation to the provisions of RA 6713.
“You’re the framers. As far as I’m concerned. I feel that having been in government, in DPWH, is helping me try to move railway projects,” Singson said.
He said he had no other motive but to upgrade and improve the railway system in the Philippines.
Fariñas then said he, as concurrent chair of the rules committee, would actually have the authority to interpret the letter of the law.
To which Singson replied: “I would defer to the Majority Leader. If you feel that there’s a violation, I will resign.”
Speaking to reporters afterward, Alvarez clarified that he was not seeking Singson’s resignation from his private post, but only wanted to “caution him as a friend.”
Singson, as LRMC head, has offered government to build a temporary station to connect LRT’s Line 1 and MRT’s Line 3, while negotiations and legal wrangling continue in the proposal to construct a common station.