THE Sandiganbayan has ordered the arrest of former Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) general manager Al Vitangcol.
Vitangcol is facing graft charges over his alleged attempt to extort money from representatives of the Inekon Group of Czhechoslovakia, amounting to $30 million.
Likewise he was accused of pressuring the representatives of the rail cars supplier into entering into a joint venture agreement with his supposed “envoy” for the maintenance of LRT’s railway line.
Aside from Vitangcol, the Sixth Division also ordered the arrest of businessman Wilson de Vera.
According to initial investigation, De Vera is Vitangcol’s alleged envoy.
A bail of P30,000 has been set for each count of graft charges against the former MRT official and his co-accused.
The information filed by the Office of the Ombudsman alleged that Vitangcol used De Vera to try to extort $30 million from Inekon representatives on July 9, 2012 in exchange for the awarding of a contract to supply train coaches for MRT-3.
Reports said the extortion attempt supposedly happened at the residence of then-Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Josef Rychtar in Forbes Park, Makati.
The Office of the Ombudsman has filed two counts of violation of Section 3(b) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Vitangcol and De Vera.
Representatives from Inekon reportedly refused to give in to the extortion attempt by De Vera, even though the amount was reduced to $2.5 million after consulting with Vitangcol over the phone.
He reportedly proposed a 60-40 sharing agreement between Inekon and De Vera’s group during a meeting with the Czech firm’s officials in his office on July 10, 2012. The offer was allegedly made in Rychtar’s presence.