MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) rejected the petition of former Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT3) general manager Al Vitangcol III to reverse an earlier Office of the Ombudsman order that found him administratively liable for alleged extortion.
In its decision, the CA said Vitangcol did not raise new arguments in his petition for the court to reverse its earlier decision that affirmed the Ombudsman’s order.
Back in February 2016, the Ombudsman found Vitangcol guilty of administrative charges for allegedly attempting to extort $30 million from Inekon, a Czech company that supplies light rail vehicles.
The CA had earlier ruled that the Ombudsman was right in finding Vitangcol guilty of two counts each of grave misconduct, serious dishonesty, and unlawful solicitation.
The court also said the former MRT3 official’s request to issue a subpoena compelling National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) chief Dante Gierran to come out with the final report produced by agents which allegedly cleared him of the case would not be of help.
The CA 8th Division said Vitangcol himself admitted that the report was submitted to former NBI chief Virgilio Mendez, who eventually rejected the conclusion and recommended that charges be filed anyway.
“On this score alone, the final report cannot be construed as ‘a solid proof’ of Vitangcol’s innocence,” said the CA.
Vitangcol left his post in May 2014. Complaints were filed against him in June the same year.
In October 2017, Vitangcol asked the Supreme Court to remove Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales for allegedly overstaying in her post. – Rappler.com