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Groups Bark At P1.2 Billion MRT Project 

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MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 29, 2011) – Civil and urban poor groups and peasants picketed Tuesday in Quezon City to protest a proposed government project that would allegedly benefit President Benigno Aquino’s relative.

The picketers accused Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas of being partial to San Miguel Corporation (SMC), of Eduardo Cojuangco, which would build the P1.2-billion Metro Rail Transit 7 project.

The Makabayan Coalition said aside from Cojuangco being the uncle of Aquino, the project will also be passing through lands claimed by Araneta Properties.

“After losing Hacienda Luisita by a celebrated Supreme Court decision, we can expect another Cojuangco to put up a fight for this project through the new Transport Secretary appointed by President Aquino. Secretary Roxas has been proven to be very partial when it comes to favoring projects like the controversial renovation of Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal,” Makabayan spokesperson Liza Maza said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

The hacienda in Negros province is owned by the President’s clan and was ordered by the Supreme Court for distribution to farmers who are beneficiaries of the government’s land reform program.  

She said also expected to benefit from the SMC-led MRT-7’s intermodal depot and residential-commercial components, is taipan Henry Sy.

“Honestly, we fear that Roxas cannot go against the vested interests of his own family, President Aquino on whose pleasure he serves, and the likes of SMC and Henry Sy. These are four powerful families,” Maza said.

The government has denied any anomalies in the project.

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