Resigned Metro Rail Transit 3 General Manager Al Vitangcol 3rd posted bail totaling P90,000 on Friday over charges filed against him in connection with the award of the MRT 3 interim maintenance deal to a joint venture in 2012.
Vitangcol posted bail for his provisional freedom even while the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Third Division is yet to determine whether there is probable cause to proceed to trial and issue arrest warrants against him and others accused.
Earlier, the Office of the Ombudsman filed charges before the court against Vitangcol and five incorporators of PH Trams for violation of Sections 3(e) and 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as of of Section 65 Paragraph C(1) in relation to Section 47 of the Government Procurement Reform Act.
The PH Trams incorporators who were named respondents include Arturo Soriano (also provincial accountant of Pangasinan), Wilson de Vera, Marlo dela Cruz, Manolo Maralit and Federico Remo.
On Friday morning, the cases were designated by raffle to the court’s Third Division.
The Ombudsman alleged that the maintenance deal was awarded to the joint venture of PH Trams and Comm Builders and Technology Philippines Corporation (CB&T) even when one of the PH Trams incorporators, Soriano, was Vitangcol’s supposed relative (uncle-in-law).
Section 3(e) of the anti-graft law prohibits public officials from causing undue injury to any party including the government, or giving a private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of their official functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.
Meanwhile, Section 3 (h) prohibits public officials from having pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in which they take part in their official capacity, or in which they are prohibited by the Constitution or any law from having any interest.
The respondents were also accused of violating of Section 65 Paragraph C(1) in relation to Section 47 of the Government Procurement Reform Act over the submission of an Affidavit of Disclosure, which declared that none of PH Trams’ incorporators is related by consanguinity or affinity up to the third civil degree with any member of the procuring teams.
According to the Ombudsman, PH Trams would have been automatically disqualified from participating in the procurement of the deal if the respondents did not allegedly conceal that Vitangcol was related by affinity to Soriano.
It recommended P30,000 bail each for the accused’s provisional liberty.