P30-M libel complaint filed vs Inquirer editor, Czech envoy

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P30-M libel complaint filed vs Inquirer editor, Czech envoy
A Filipino contractor files the complaint as talks re-surface about an MRT official's alleged attempt to extort $30 million on a Czech company leads

MANILA, Philppines – A former maintenance contractor of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) filed on Tuesday, April 8, a P30-million libel suit against Philippine Daily Inquirer editor in chief Leticia Magsanoc and Czech Ambassador Josef Rychtar.

Comm Builder Technology Philippines Corporation (CB&T) president Roehl “Boyett” Bacar said he submitted his 5-page complaint before the Mandaluyong Prosecutor’s Office with his lawyer.

His complaint stemmed from an article published in the national daily on Saturday, April 5, that mentioned “a certain ‘Boyet Bacar'” as among the people involved in a cooked joint venture that transferred the maintenance of MRT from contractor Sumitomo to PH Trams and CB&T, Bacar’s company.

The newspaper report quoted an affidavit submitted by Czech envoy Rychtar to the House committee on good government and public accountability. 

Rychtar supposedly said in his affidavit that the transfer of maintenance operations to CB&T and PH Trams was “backed by the highest DOTC officials and some politicians.”

The subject Inquirer article zeroed in on the impending House committee probe into the alleged $30-million extortion attempt in 2012 made by MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol on a Czech company through supposed liaisons.

The Palace earlier questioned Rychtar’s motives in reviving talks about the 2012 alleged extortion attempt, saying the envoy should be cooperating with the investigating bodies instead of speaking to the media.

The same Inquirer report quoted Rychtar as saying in his affidavit that he received two sets of “white papers” detailing in “precise terms a fraud organized for the new coaches bidding by persons from the private sector as well as from the state institutions” and the “technical parameters of the scam inside the Terms of Reference of the Bidding.”

Bacar was supposedly implicated in these “white papers.”

In a phone interview with Rappler, Bacar said he felt attacked and was “really upset” upon reading the report.

He cited the disqualification of CB&T from a September 2013 MRT bidding as proof that his alleged connections in government are false. CB&T was disqualified for mere “technical non-compliance,” he added.

Bacar submitted as evidence documents pertaining to the disqualification case.

“The white paper is to destroy my personality. That’s the only purpose,” he said.

The CB&T president is set to file a supplemental affidavit on Thursday, April 10, for additional civil damages of at least P600,000. – Rappler.com


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