Ex-MRT chief charged with graft over alleged extortion try

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2016 02:48 PM

Former Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) General Manager Al Vitangcol. Manny Palmero, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Ombudsman on Friday filed a graft charge against the former general manager of the Metro Rail Transit for allegedly trying to extort $30 million from a Czech firm.

Ex-MRT general manager Al Vitangcol faces up to 15 years in prison, perpetual disqualification from public office and forfeiture of property if found guilty of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Also included in the charge was Wilson de Vera, incorporator of PH Trams. De Vera allegedly told representatives of INEKON group in 2012 that they would secure the contract to supply MRT trains if they gave Vitangcol $30 million.

Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Josef Rychtar exposed the alleged extortion attempt.

The Ombudsman also alleged that Vitangcol and De Vera conspired to seek favor from INEKON for it could secure a separate contract for the maintenance of the train line.

The maintenance contract was later awarded to a joint venture of Comm Builders and Technology Philippines Corporation (CB&T) and PH Trams.