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4 MRT workers nabbed for road digging in Caloocan

MANILA, Philippines - Four construction employees working at an excavation site for the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) in Caloocan City were arrested because their operation allegedly does not have permission from the local government. The Caloocan City police identified the arrested workers as Joseph Acosta, 22 pf Pangasinan; Ronnie Rapiza, 35 of Rizal; Alvin Soriano, 23 of Pangasinan; and Marvin Acosta, 27 of Pangasinan. The four were arrested at 3 p.m. of Monday while working at a construction site for the expansion project of the MRT along Epifanio delos Santos Avenue and Malvar Street in Bagong Barrio village in Caloocan. They were employees of the First Balfour Construction, the company supposedly contracted by the MRT management to conduct excavation in the area. “The four men were spotted digging [at the site] and were directed to stop operations for lack of permit," the police said. Police Officer 2 Marcelino Amin told GMANews.TV in an interview that the four men reportedly hurled “defamatory remarks" against the arresting officers. Caloocan City Mayor Enrico “Recom" Echiveri has earlier urged the government to construct an intermediate station in the city as part of the P6.4–billion Light Rail Transit North Extension Project or the LRT-MRT Loop. However, police officials quoted Alex Naduarata, traffic operations officer from the local government, as saying the current operation was not yet supported by a government permit. The four were initially slapped late Monday night with complaints of direct assault and disobedience to agents and persons of authority. After the fiscal dismissed the direct assault charge, policemen replaced that charge instead with malicious mischief. A total of P4,000 bail has already been set for both charges - disobedience and malicious mischief. The twin charges would have to be raffled off Monday next week at the Metropolitan Trial Court, according to Amin. Noel Antoniano, representing the MRT and Balfour, dropped by the Caloocan City police Tuesday morning to check on their four employees. If Antoniano could produce the necessary documents by Wednesday, the four workers could be released on bail on the same day, according to Amin. - GMANews.TV