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Ombudsman charges ex-MRT3 GM, 5 others for corruption

The Ombudsman filed charges against former Metro Rail Transit 3 General Manager and five other executives of PH Trams over an awarded maintenance contract without bidding. File photo

MANILA, Philippines – The Ombudsman on Tuesday filed criminal raps before the Sandiganbayan against the former Metro Rail Transit 3 general manager and five executives of the Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corp. (PH Trams) over graft and corruption.

The respondents, former MRT3 General Manager Al Vitangcol III,  and PH Trams executives Marlo dela Cruz, Wilson de Vera, Manolo Maralit, Federico Remo and Arturo Soriano were charged with criminal raps.

They were accused of violating Section 3(e) of the Republic Act (RA) 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act ”over the award of an MRT3 interim maintenance contact without public bidding in 2012.

According to the Ombudsman, Vitangcol acted with "evident bad faith, manifest partiality, or gross inexcusable negligence" in "willfully, unlawfully and criminally" giving "unwarranted benefits, advantage, and preference" to PH Trams and joint venture partner Comm Builders and Technology Philippines Corp. when he recommended and entered into a contract with PH Trams.

The Ombudsman said that Vitangcol still entered the contract with PH Trams despite its disqualification under RA 9184, or the Government Procurement Act.

Vitangcol was charged on account of his "relationship with accused Soriano, his uncle-in-law, which fact was intentionally concealed to ensure the award of the contract to the said joint venture, to the damage and prejudice of the government," the Ombudsman said.

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Vitangcol was relieved in May 2014 over the alleged anomalous deal with his in-law. He was also charged for alleged bribery attempt related to the MRT3 capacity expansion project a month later. On the other hand, another respondent, De Vera, served as Vitangcol’s alleged accomplice in the alleged bribery attempt.

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