FORMER General Manager Al Vitangcol 3rd of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) pleaded not guilty to the graft charges against him during his arraignment before the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division on Wednesday.
The preliminary conference — where the parties will mark documentary evidence they intend to present during trial – is scheduled on August 30 and 31 while the pre-trial is on September 28.
Vitangcol, along with Wilson de Vera, was charged with violation of Section 3(b) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) in two separate charge sheets filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in November.
One case – docketed as SB-16-CRM-1207 – stemmed from an alleged extortion try on representatives of Czech company Inekon Group in connection with the contract or transaction for the supply of Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) in 2012. The other –docketed as SB-16-CRM-1208 – stemmed from an alleged request for the Inekon representatives to forge a joint venture deal with a group in connection with the contract or transaction for the train system’s maintenance service.
De Vera pleaded not guilty in a conditional arraignment in 2016 for purposes of a travel clearance, which he sought from the court.