Sandigan issues arrest order vs ex-MRT chief

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2016 12:57 PM | Updated as of Dec 01 2016 05:44 PM

Former Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3) General Manager Al Vitangcol answers query on the corruption case filed against him on April 13, 2016. Manny Palmero, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) - The Sandiganbayan has ordered the arrest of former Metro Rail Transit general manager Al Vitangcol III for graft cases in connection with an alleged attempt to extort $30 million from a Czech firm.

The anti-graft court recommended a bail of P60,000 for Vitangcol and his alleged “envoy,” Wilson de Vera, incorporator of PH Trams.

As of posting, Vitangcol has already posted bail of P60,000 for his two graft cases.

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.

De Vera allegedly told representatives of INEKON group in 2012 that they would secure the contract to supply MRT coaches 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 representatives to sign a joint venture agreement for the award of the contract for the maintenance of the MRT3 line under a 60-40 sharing scheme with a group of persons. 

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