Envoy cleared Ballsy in MRT extort try, Palace says

Posted at 04/06/14 1:31 PM

MANILA -- Malacanang said no less than Czech Republic Ambassador Josef Rychtar declared that presidential sister Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz is not involved in the alleged extortion for a Metro Rail Transit (MRT) 3 project.

Asked if the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will look in the presidential sister’s alleged link in the extort try, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told radio dzRB: “The Czech Ambassador has already earlier on declared that [Ballsy] is not involved in the issue.”

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.

Coloma assured the public that all aspects of the issue will be looked into. “In the end, we all want to provide service to the commuting public,” he said.

He also does not find anything wrong if the House of Representatives summons both Vitangcol and Rychtar to an inquiry.

“That’s a process under the House of Representatives. We respect their independence,” he said.

Pampanga Rep. Oscar Rodriguez said the inquiry into the alleged extort try will resume once Congress sessions start in May.