By Carolyn Bonquin | ABS-CBN News | December 1, 2015
MANILA - The Ombudsman has filed charges of graft and violation of the Government Procurement Reform Act against former Metro Rail Transit 3 General Manager Al Vitangcol III and incorporators of PH Trams over the allegedly anomalous MRT-3 interim maintenance contract in 2012.
The Office of the Ombudsman filed charges against Vitangcol and five directors and incorporators of the Philippine Trams Rail Management and Services Corporation (PH Trams) before the Sandiganbayan.
Also named in the complaint are:
Wilson De Vera
Marlo Dela Cruz
The Ombudsman earlier identified Soriano as Vitangcol's uncle-in-law.
Based on the Ombudsman's investigations, Vitangcol allegedly conspired with the charged company officials to ensure the awarding of the contract to PH-Trams. This, despite the fact that PH-Trams would have been automatically disqualified from participating in the procurement of the MRT3 maintenance contract because Vitangcol is related to Soriano, who is one of PH Trams' incorporators.
The Ombudsman said Vitangcol, who then acted as the head of the negotiating team and Bids and Awards Committee member, "intentionally concealed" his relationship with Soriano to ensure the awarding, instead of barring PH-Trams from the bidding process.
On the Affidavit of Disclosure submitted to the government, PH Trams allegedly gave a false statement after indicating that "none of PH Trans incorporators is related by consanguinity or affinity up to the third civil degree to the Head of the Procuring Entity, members of the Bids and Awards Committee, Technical Working Group, the BAC Secretariat, and Head of the Project Management Office."
"(Vitangcol) in his official capacity...while having a direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest in PH Trams, being the nephew-in-law of accused Soriano, with all of the accused fully knowing, yet concealing, such financial or pecuniary interest of Vitangcol in PH Trams," read the Information.
MRT3 entered in a six-month contract with PH-Trans CB&T as an interim maintenance provide of the railway in the amount of US$1.15 million per month. The contract was thrice renewed until September 4, 2013.
As of posting, ABS-CBN News is still trying to get Vitangcol's side on this issue.