Vitangcol cries harassment


Former Metro Rail Transit-3 General Manager Al Vitangcol 3rd on Wednesday questioned the filing of new charges against him by the Ombudsman, saying other Transportation officials were involved in the botched MRT maintenance deal but they were not charged.

Vitangcol claimed that he was singled out by the Ombudsman. He noted that a lot of people were involved in the allegedly anomalous maintenance deal, including Transportation Secretary Emilio Joseph “Jun” Abaya and his predecessor, Manuel “Mar” Roxas.

“Resolution pa lang ‘yang two graft cases laban sa kin pero minamadali na ito ng Ombudsman (The Ombudsman rushed the cases filed against me),” Vitangcol told reporters at the weekly Fernandina media forum in Greenhills, San Juan City.

The Ombudsman on Monday indicted Vitangcol for two counts of graft charges for attempting to extort $30 million from Czech firm Inekon which supplied light rail vehicles.

“This is political harassment. This is more than a simple case of stealing a large amount of money, lalo na ‘pag meron ‘dyan hindi tumataas sa survey at naghahanap lang ng ma-dedemanda (particularly when someone’s rating does not rise in surveys),” Vitangcol said, apparently referring to Roxas who has lagged in various poll surveys.

Vitangcol asked the Senate to conduct a separate investigation on the charges against him with the hope that he will be given fair justice.

“They should look into the matter more thoroughly. I am more than willing to air my side of the story,” he said.

The former MRT official vowed to fight back.

“Hanggang ako ay binabanatan lalo akong magsasalita. May mga documents na ngayon ako na ilalabas na magpapatotoo lahat ng sinasabi ko (As long as they are attacking me I will talk. I have documents to prove my claims),” he said.


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