By Marc Jayson Cayabyab | | May 27, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco asked help from officials of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3) and Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to locate the accused middleman on the alleged MRT extortion try.

During Tuesday’s committee hearing in the House of Representatives, Tiangco asked relieved MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol III to assist them in summoning Wilson De Vera, who allegedly used Vitangcol’s name to extort money from a Czech train supplier company.

Lawmakers said De Vera is essential in the chamber’s probe on the attempted extortion.

Vitangcol has been accused by Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar of demanding $30 million from Inekon Group so that the Czech train builder could corner the contract to supply 48 new MRT coaches.

Rychtar alleged that Vitangcol sent De Vera as his envoy on the supposed extortion.

Vitangcol denied he was behind the extortion try, adding that he has tried his best to contact De Vera since the allegation was exposed.

But apparently, De Vera, Vitangcol said, had moved to the United States with his family.

Vitangcol said he tried to call De Vera but his contact number was no longer active.

Meanwhile, Tiangco asked Transportation Secretary Joseph “Jun” Abaya’s help as former Liberal Party secretary general since De Vera ran for mayor of Calasiao town, Pangasinan province, under the party last year but lost.