Vitangcol, kin found guilty of graft over ‘anomalous’ MRT-3 deal
MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan on Thursday has found former MRT-3 general manager Al Vitangcol III guilty of graft over the awarding of the train system’s 2012 maintenance deal to the company of his wife’s uncle.
In a decision released by the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division, Vitangcol and his uncle-in-law, Arturo Soriano, were guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violating Section 3 of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and are sentenced to six to eight years of imprisonment.
Both were also found guilty of Section 65 C(I) of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Reform Procurement Act, and were also sentenced to six to eight years of imprisonment.
However, they were acquitted for the charge of violating Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which prohibits the use of his position to directly or indirectly intervene in any business or contract or transaction.
The case stemmed from the anomalous MRT-3 maintenance deal awarded, allegedly without public bidding, to the joint venture of Comm Builders and Technology Philippines Corp. (CB&T) and Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corp. (PH Trams).
Soriano is one of the incorporators of PH Trams.
Their co-accused, PH Trams executives Wilson Tigno De Vera, Marlo Pilapil Dela Cruz, Manolo Mayo Maralit and Federico Franco Remo were acquitted of all charges for violating Sections 3(e) and 3(h) of RA 3019.
“Accused Vitangcol III exhibited evident bad faith in not disclosing the material fact of his relationship to one of the incorporators of PH Trams,” the decision read. “This material fact was apparently concealed precisely to prevent the eventual disqualification of PH Trams from negotiating for the interim Maintenance Provider of MRT3.”
“Because of this non-disclosure, PH Trams eventually bagged the interim Maintenance Contract from the (Department of Transportation and Communication),” it further stated.
The decision also said that Vitangcol took “active part” in the negotiation and awarding of the maintenance deal PH Trams and CB&T.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.