Reacting to former Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) General Manager Al Vitangcol's recent statements regarding his exit from government, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) confirms that Vitangcol was relieved of his duties after his undeclared conflict-of-interest in the rail system's maintenance contract was exposed.
The DOTC officials had no knowledge that Vitangcol's uncle by affinity was the incorporator of PH Trams until this fact was revealed in media. It was this apparent act of dishonesty that served as basis for his being relieved of his duties as General Manager, since all trust and confidence in him was lost.
Vitangcol even admitted under oath at a committee hearing of the House of Representatives shortly after his departure in 2014 that he was indeed relieved of his duties. He also admitted to having received the official notice of his sacking on the same day that his conflict-of-interest was exposed.
Vitangcol, who had been appointed to head MRT-3 in 2012, is now facing charges filed with the Sandiganbayan by the Ombudsman.
The Ombudsman investigated the procurement process conducted by the DOTC, and found no irregularity in the agency's actions. The DOTC has always stated that it strictly complies with procurement laws, and that it is committed to ensuring a level playing field, so that no under-the-table deals or favoritism may influence the award of its projects.
The Ombudsman concluded, however, that Vitangcol was guilty of having a conflict-of-interest in that bid. These findings reinforced the DOTC's loss of trust and confidence in Vitangcol due to his failure to disclose his relationship, which casted doubt on his honesty and character.
*Photo from Inquirer.net