Palace welcomes Czech envoy's move to drop immunity

by RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 08 2014 05:58 PM | Updated as of Apr 09 2014 01:58 AM

MANILA - Malacanang welcomed the decision of Czech Republic Ambassador Josef Rychtar to waive his diplomatic immunity in connection with the investigation on the alleged bribe try for new coaches in the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) system.

In a press conference, Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said, "That's a good development. I understand from Secretary (Joseph Emilio) Abaya, when the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) was conducting its own internal investigation on the matter, they did not have the benefit of having a formal statement from Ambassador Rychtar.”

She said the DOTC can only do so much without Rychtar’s testimony.

“DOTC has no subpoena powers and as such… was not able to ascertain everything given that there's a limited opportunity for them to gather more facts outside of the department,” she said.

In July last year, Rychtar claimed MRT general manager Al Vitangcol III tried to extort $30 million from Czech Republic-based Inekon Group for the procurement of additional MRT coaches.

Rychtar again came out in the open last week, alleging that influential people are out to protect Vitangcol.