Cooperate in extort probe, Czech ambassador urged


The Philippine government has no plans of declaring Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar a “persona non grata” over his accusations of extortion against some transportation officials.

“I think that is not in the horizon of DFA [Department of Foreign Affairs] to do so,” Palace spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters.

Lacierda said the government has encouraged the Czech ambassador to cooperate with authorities investigating the case.

“I can assure Ambassador Rychtar that there is an investigation in the NBI [National Bureau of Investigation] . . . we certainly encourage him to speak up before the proper body, not just the media,” he added.

Lacierda said the government is ready to probe allegations of wrongdoing as long as the accuser has ample evidence to back up his claims.

“The important thing is, if you have an allegation, if you’re willing to face and present evidence of those allegations, then our investigative bodies are there to investigate,” he noted.

The Palace official said Rychtar does not seem to be cooperating in the investigation.

“It’s certainly interesting why he has not presented any testimony before the NBI. We’d certainly be curious why he’s doing that and not helping the proper investigative bodies to do their jobs,” Lacierda said.

He recalled that the Czech ambassador did not cooperate with the administrative probe conducted by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on the alleged extortion.

The ambassador earlier claimed that some DOTC officials, including Metro Rail Transit [MRT] General Manager Al Vitangcol, demanded $30 million from Czech company Inekon in exchange for a contract to provide several coaches for the modernization of the MRT 3 line. Rychtar claimed that he met Vitangcol and his men twice—in Makati City and Quezon City—but the MRT head denied it.

The controversy was first published by The Manila Times through a three-part series written by the paper’s Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Dante Ang.

The ambassador claimed that Inekon was blacklisted by the DOTC, but this was denied by the Palace and Transporation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.

The MRT 3 is Metro Manila’s third rapid-transit line. It forms part of the Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 1 and Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 2.


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  1. apolonio reyes on

    Secxy Lacierda, even if it is only ONE DAY any foreigner, specially an Ambassador, will say something bad or LIE about the Philippines should be declared “persona non grata “, Di BA Secxy Lacierda? Matagal ng sinabi kay Ambassador Rychtar ng NBInutil na tapos na ang kanilang imbestigation at napadala na daw sa Malacanan, Sino sa inyo ang nagsisinungaling, Secxy Lacierda? Sabi naman ni Secxy D5 na tapos na ang inbestigation ng NBInutil matapos ang 9 months at binalik nya para reviewhin, para ba reviewhin o ayusin pabor sa mga inakusahan ni Ambassador Rychtar. Secxy D5? Gaya ng sulat ng late sultanate sa Malacanang na nawala di umano pero sulat ni Napoles ay agad na aksyonan, yuon affidavit ni Ambassador sa NBInutil at kay Belmonte at Rodriguez ay pinahahanap pa sa Secxy ng House na nasa vacation pa, ay naku kapag KKK at kinahon ( cabinet ni Pnoy ) ang inimbestiga mas mabagal pa sa pagon lumakad, di ba Secxy. Lacierda?

    • Siony Camacho Bana on

      Projecting the blame to the Ambassador of Czeck will not restore any credibility this administration already lost