Rey G. Panaligan | Manila Bulletin | February 18, 2016
Former Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) general manager Al Vitangcol told the Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday that Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas, as former secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), was one of those involved in the maintenance contract irregularities of MRT-3.
In an affidavit submitted to support his motion for reconsideration on a case against the Office of the Ombudsman, Vitangcol said Roxas deliberately neglected the procurement request for MRT-3 that led to its present woes.
He said he was singled out by the Office of the Ombudsman when criminal charges were filed against him with the exclusion of Roxas and several others.
“I am the only DOTC official charged by the Ombudsman despite the unmistakable knowledge, involvement, participation and instruction of my superiors in the DOTC headed by former Sec. Manuel ‘Mar’ A. Roxas II, current Secretary Joseph Emilio ‘Jun’ A. Abaya, Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Atty. Jose Perpetuo M. Lotilla and Undersecretary Rene K. Limcaoco, who should have been the ones brought to justice for gross and inexcusable inaction if not willful and deliberate manipulation of the events and processes related to the maintenance of MRT-3,” Vitangcol stated in his affidavit
He said the four officials led by Roxas “should have been the ones brought to justice for gross and inexcusable inaction if not willful and deliberate manipulation of the events and processes related to the maintenance of MRT-3.”
Vitangcol pleaded the SC to accept his affidavit and arrive at a “fair and impartial resolution of his motion for reconsideration and application for a temporary restraining order and injunction.”
He and five other officials of the Philippine Trans Rail Management and Services Corporation have been charged by the Office of the Ombudsman with graft and corruption. He allegedly violated the Anti-Graft Act over the award of an MRT-3 interim maintenance contact without public bidding in 2012.
On Sept. 4, 2015, Vitangcol challenged before the SC the filing of the charges against him by the Office of the Ombudsman.
But the SC dismissed his petition prompting him to file a motion for reconsideration on Nov. 6, 2015.
He pleaded for a temporary restraining order (TRO) that would stop the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with the case against him.
His affidavit filed Thursday was in support of his motion for reconsideration and his plea for a TRO. He also asked that the Sandiganbayan be impleaded in his case.
The Sandiganbayan should be “temporarily, preliminarily and, after due proceedings be, permanently restrained/enjoined from proceedings with preliminary conference, pre-trial and/or trial in the case,” he pleaded the SC.
Vitangcol told the SC that on Nov. 17, 2010, the Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) which had originally provided the maintenance of MRT-3 with Sumitomo Corp. decided to transfer the responsibility for the job to the DOTC.
He said he noticed that his superiors in the DOTC “were not abreast with its undertakings,” as Limcaoco, in a meeting in April 2012, said it was still the MRTC that was tasked to procure a new maintenance provider.
With this development, Vitangcol said he sent Roxas a letter dated May 17, 2012 requesting for a directive that would settle the issue on which party should undertake procurement for the maintenance of MRT-3.
“Then Secretary Roxas disregarded my letter as it was unanswered,” he said.