PT&T files case in SC versus gov't telecommunications body

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 16) — The Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) did not file another motion for reconsideration at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for its disqualification from becoming the third major telco player.

Instead, it filed a case at the Supreme Court, asking it to review how the bidding process for the provisional new major player (NMP) was handled by the NTC, alleging that the commission acted with grave abuse of discretion.

It again assailed the NTC Selection Committee's requirement for "regional operations" for foreign bidders for the third telco spot, but required domestic bidders to have a more national scope.

"PT&T further alleged that the NTC gravely abused its discretion when it refused to certify that PT&T has the required technical capability to participate in the 3rd Telco Bidding despite the various arguments and evidence showing that PT&T has experience in the provisioning, delivery and operations of telecommunications services for the last ten (10) years on a national scale," the company said in a statement Friday.

PT&T also said that the Selection Committee was biased against the company when it disqualified it from the bidding.

"Moreover, PT&T argued that the NMP Selection Committee acted capriciously and with evident bias when it prematurely disqualified PT&T from the 3rd Telco Bidding on the sole ground that it failed to submit a Certification of Technical Capability instead of deferring said submission until the Document Verification Phase of the 3rd Telco Bidding, as what the NMP Selection Committee did in favor of the Mislatel Consortium with respect to the latter's lack of a subsisting Congressional Franchise," PT&T said.

What happens to Mislatel now?


The head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said that they can give winning bidder Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) the go signal if PT&T does not file a motion for reconsideration by the end of the week.

"We can now more or less let Mislatel, the provisional new major player, go ahead with forming or coming up with the requirements of its post-qualification," Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio told CNN Philippines Business Roundup.

The post-qualification requirements include getting the necessary Securities and Exchange Commission certifications and for Mislatel, which won through a consortium with Davao-based Udenna Corporation and Chinese government-owned China Telecom, to organize itself properly.

"We can start telling Mislatel to go ahead with completing their organization, coming up with their performance bond, before we give them the frequencies and the authority. This can be next week," said Rio.

Rio added that Sear Telecoms, another disqualified bidder, did not file a second motion for reconsideration after it's first motion was denied.

The fee for filing a motion for reconsideration at the NTC is P10 million.

CNN Philippines business producer Jil Danielle Caro contributed to this report.