Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. said it is optimistic the Supreme Court will order the National Telecommunications Commission to reconsider its bid for the new major telecom player.
“PT&T is hopeful that it will be considered by the highest court in due time or hopefully soonest,” PT&T said in a statement.
PT&T filed a petition for certiorari on Nov. 16 with the Supreme Court assailing the acts of the NTC and the New Major Player Selection Committee during the selection process.
PT&T alleged that the NMP Selection Committee acted with “grave abuse of discretion and beyond its jurisdiction” when it revised the terms of reference in regard to technical capability by applying only to foreign telcos the rule that having a regional scale of telecommunications operations for the last 10 years qualifies as operations on a national scale.
Under the terms of reference, that rule applies, without distinction or discrimination, to both local and foreign telcos, which thus would qualify PT&T, the same having operated from Region IV-A as an offshoot of the regionalization mandated by President Fidel Ramos in the 1990s, the company said.
“The NMP Selection Committee has no legal authority to change the terms of reference which were earlier issued by the NTC En Banc with the help of the Oversight Committee and the Philippine Competition Commission,” PT&T said.
“That unauthorized revision is void for such lack of legal authority and also because it violated the provision in the Constitution on the equal protection of the laws by unfairly discriminating against local telcos while favoring foreign ones. It is also void for being violative of Republic Act No. 3019 [Anti-Graft Law], causing as it does injury to local telcos while giving unwarranted advantage and preference to foreign telcos thru manifest partiality and evident bad faith,” PT&T said.
PT&T said the company had not asked the Supreme Court for a temporary restraining order or an injunction to stop the selection process for the third telco.
The company said its petition with the Supreme Court sought the issuance of a writ of certiorari to annul PT&T’s illegal and unjust disqualification and set aside the unwarranted selection of the Mislatel Consortium.
A certiorari is defined as a “writ issued by a superior court for the examination of an action of a lower court.”
“The process of its petition in the SC will entail a proper hearing. The selection of the NMP is of transcendental importance in the Philippine telecommunications market and ultimately, the digital Filipino,” PT&T said.
PT&T was disqualified from the bidding for a new major player for not submitting the required certification of technical capability from the NTC.
Another bidder, Sear Telecom of former Ilocos Governor Chavit Singson, was also disqualified from the bidding for failure to submit a participation security of P700 million.
The selection committee on Nov. 7 declared the consortium led by Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. as the provisional new major player with 456.80 points in commitments.
Mislatel committed to invest P257 billion over a five-year period, with P150 billion committed to its first year of operations.