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“Mystery guy” in the MRT extort try


LIFE’S INSPIRATIONS: “…Extortion turns a wise person into a fool, and a bribe corrupts the heart…” (Ecclesiastes 7:7, the Holy Bible).

VITANGCOL: “ESCAPE GOAT” IN US $ 30 M EXTORT TRY? Is MRT General Manager Al Vitangcol being set up as a “escape goat” or a “fall guy” in the raging controversy over a supposed US $ 30 million extortion attempt against Inekon, a company from Czech Republic which is trying to sell trains or coaches to the Philippine government?

I am asking this after I heard him defend himself over the extortion deal in an appearance before the officers and members of the Capitol Christian Leadership of Quezon City (CCL QC), a Born Again organization, during its regular gathering last Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Vitangcol is a Born Again Christian. Pastor Jojo Gonzales, chairman of CCL QC, invited me to listen to Vitangcol’s speech.

Here are my reasons why I am asking if Vitangcol, who shed copious tears at the end of his speech after asking for prayers to guide him in this incident, is being set up as a “escape goat” or a “fall guy” over this extortion issue, which may possibly be filed in court as a plunder case: first, there seems to be a cover-up over the participation of a foreigner in the extortion attempt.

WHO IS THE “MYSTERY GUY” IN THE MRT EXTORT TRY? Vitangcol asked at one point in his speech: why is a guy (whose name he gave to the audience) not being mentioned in media despite his evident participation in the extortion attempt? Was it because, Vitangcol asked, the guy is connected with both the media and some people in government?

He asked CCL QC officers and members to “google” or search from the Internet the name he gave, and I did just that, shortly before I wrote this column. The Internet yielded a good amount of information as to who this guy was, and the kind of power he and his father yielded, and continue to yield as of now, over some personalities in Philippine media and government.

Second, there seems to be a conspiracy to prevent Vitangcol from securing for himself a copy of the affidavit of Czech Ambassador Joseph Rychtar where the extortion attempt was allegedly detailed. Vitangcol said that while Secretary Joseph Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) at one point already ordered him to answer Rychtar’s affidavit, no copy of it was ever given to him!

VITANGCOL: “I WAS NOT EVEN THERE”: What was more scary was that, when Vitangcol tried to get a copy from the Notarial Section of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (where affidavits are supposed to be kept on file if they were executed in the city), he was told that while it would appear that there was a record of the affidavit having been duly notarized, there was no copy of it appearing in the Notarial Section.

Third, it appeared weird that the DOTC was not enthusiastic in defending him from Rychtar’s accusations, considering that, Vitangcol explained, he immediately endorsed the project for the purchase of additional MRT coaches to the DOTC, including his own evaluation rejecting Inekon’s proposal for being overpriced to the tune of more than US $ 1 million per coach, and for being inappropriate for a negotiated, government-to-government deal.

Vitangcol said he is now readying perjury complaints against Rychtar, to prove that the Czech ambassador lied in making the extortion accusations against him. “It will be filed this week,” he said, noting that, even Rychtar himself admitted he, Vitangcol, was not present when the supposed extortion attempt was made.

REMINDERS:Please tune in: “Tambalang Batas at Somintac sa DZEC”, at 1062 kHz on the AM band, Mondays to Fridays, at 6 a.m.; “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas sa Radyo Trabungko FM”, at 103.7 mHz in Don Carlos, Bukidnon, Mondays to Fridays, at 7 a.m.; and “Kakampi Mo Ang Batas sa DYKA” at 801 kHz on the AM band (Panay Island), Mondays to Fridays, at 10 a.m.

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