A NETWORK of train commuters has called for the resignation of Metro Rail Transit (MRT) General Manager Al Vitangcol 3rd over his alleged involvement in an attempt to extort $30 million from a Czech train car builder and for problems in the railway’s operations.
In a statement on Thursday, The Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (Riles) Network said Vitangcol should step down from his post for failing to solve the many problems hounding the MRT.
“The MRT chief is known for two things: problems in the MRT’s operation and this extortion attempt. It is unbearable and unforgivable that he remains in his post. He should resign immediately,” Sammy Malunes, the group’s spokesman, said.
The MRT has been the target of irate comments in social networking sites because of long queues in its stations and train accidents.
The network claimed that out of the original 24 coaches of the MRT, only 15 are functional, proof that Vitangcol has allowed MRT’s private contractor for maintenance, APT Global, to penny-pinch on repairs.
Josef Rychtar, the Czech Republic’s ambassador to the Philippines, named Vitangcol as one of several government officials who attempted to extort $30 million from Inekon Group in July 2012.
The group also condemned President Benigno Aquino 3rd for keeping Vitangcol in his post.
“Aquino, who likes to be known for berating government officials publicly, is obviously going very soft on Vitangcol. We cannot help but think that Vitangcol is very close to the President,” Malunes said.
“The President seems to be waiting for a major accident in the MRT before he acts on the train system’s problem. He is very respectful of contracts entered into by the government with private companies even if these have been giving the public service that’s substandard,” he added.