Vitangcol posts bail for graft raps, denies accusations

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 01 2016 06:51 PM

Former MRT general manager Al Vitangcol III. File Photo

MANILA - Former MRT general manager Al Vitangcol III on Thursday, posted bail for his graft cases in connection to his alleged extortion attempts and demands on Czech company, Inekon for the MRT-3 maintenance in 2012.

Vitangcol posted a total of P60,000 bail before the Sandiganbayan.

In an interview, Vitangcol said his new cases are a "retaliation" after hitting former DOTC officials in a newspaper column. Vitangcol is referring to his Manila Times column published on November 20, where he pointed out that former DOTC officials should also be held liable over the delayed car plates.

Vitangcol said he is planning to sue former DOTC Secretary Abaya, and file a case this week. 

However, the Ombudsman indicted Vitangcol on November 23---three days after his column came out.

"Supposedly ngayong week ko ifile ang kaso. Instead na makapagconcentrate ako sa kasong ifile namin, siyempre inuna ko to," Vitangcol told ABS-CBN News.

(I was supposed to file the case this week. Instead of concentrating on the case that we will file, I had to do this first.)

"In fact sinulat ko na motion na ifile ko late na."

(In fact the motion I wrote was filed late.)

Vitangcol said his cases were a "continuing harassment and persecution of me." He added, the cases are nothing new and were only used to threaten him.

Aside from these cases, Vitangcol also faces trial for graft and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act before the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division over the allegedly anomalous MRT3 interim maintenance contract in 2012.

Vitangcol allegedly conspired with five PH-Trams company officials to ensure the awarding of contract to the company. PH-Trams incorporator Arturo Soriano is Vitangcol's uncle-in-law. 

Vitangcol also called Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar a liar.
Based on the charge sheet, De Vera went to Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar's house in Makati on July 9, 2012 to "request or demand" USD30 million.

INEKON representatives claimed they turned down his demand, and the amount was eventually lowered to USD2.5 million after De Vera's supposed consultation with Vitangcol over the phone.

"Alam niyo yang Ambassador na yan, sinungaling po yan. Matagal ko nang sinasabi na pawang kasinungalingan ang sinasabi niya. Kung papaniwalaan nila ang sinasabi ng ambassador, bakit nagconcentrate lang sila sa akin at hindi sa mga sinasabi ng iba pang DOTC officials."

(That ambassador is a liar. I've been saying it before that what he is saying are lies. If you will believe everything that the ambassador says, why are they concentrating their efforts on me and not on what other DOTC officials are saying?)