Vitangcol files perjury rap vs Czech envoy

Posted at 05/13/14 12:18 PM

MANILA - Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Manager Al Vitangcol III has filed a perjury complaint against Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar before the Makati prosecutor’s office yesterday.

"This action is personal to Atty. Vitangcol and has nothing to do with DOTC-MRT3. Thus DOTC-MRT3 or any of its officers will not answer any queries relative to the said case. Likewise, Atty. Vitangcol has decided not to speak on the subject but has authorized his lawyers to talk on his behalf," a press release from MRT-3 said.

Rychtar earlier linked Vitangcol to the alleged extortion attempt of Czech train supplier Inekon Group.

Rychtar claimed Vitangcol sent businessman Wilson de Vera to get $30 million from Inekon in exchange for a supply contract.

Vitangcol denied the charges and said he will fight all accusations in court. Once cleared, he said he will resign from office.

The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) had defended its decision not to award the supply of train coaches to Inekon.

Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the government saved no less than P3.348 billion because of an open and transparent bidding instead of a negotiated deal.

"The decision to bid the project out resulted in almost P 3.5 billion in savings, without sacrificing the quality of the train coaches. Those savings can now be used in other programs which will also improve public services. This is in accordance with our push for reforms and good governance at the DOTC," said Abaya.

The winning bidder, Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company, offered to supply 48 coaches for $1.8 million each, or a total of $86.4 million.

He said Inekon, on the other hand, priced each coach for $3.355 million for a total of $174.46 million for 52 coaches. This is equivalent to $160.8 million for 48 coaches.

"That is how much the government saved. Or would have lost, had the contract been awarded to Inekon without opening the project to other bidders," Abaya said.