THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is currently investigating the alleged extortion attempt of several officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) on a Czech company which wanted to supply trains for the expansion project of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT).
The Manila Times earlier reported that DOTC and MRT officials met with Czech firm Inekon during the time of Secretary Manuel Roxas.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the NBI has started its probe following the order of President Benigno Aquino 3rd.
“The President has tasked the NBI to undertake the Inekon-DOTC investigation. As always, the thrust is to ascertain the facts and the truth and determine accountability, if warranted,” De Lima said.
She refused to give details on the progress of the investigation.
“That assignment was actually given to NBI two to three weeks ago. And NBI immediately started its discreet probe,” De Lima said.
Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar earlier revealed that during the time of Roxas, several officials of the DOTC, including MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol, asked $30 million from Inekon to favor the Czech company in the bidding to supply 48 train coaches for the MRT. The $30 million demand was later lowered to $2 million.
Vitangcol went on leave last week as the DOTC started its own investigation into the matter.
Malacañang has pledged that the issue will be thoroughly investigated. The House of Representatives also said it will investigate the controversy and will invite Rychtar to shed light into the matter.