Opposition senators: Third telco selection should be ‘examined carefully’
Opposition senators want the selection of the consortium of businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and China Telecom as the third telco player in the country to be “examined carefully.”
Senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Leila De Lima, Francis Pangilinan, and Antonio Trillanes IV said on Thursday that the government should be transparent on its selection process because allowing a new major telco player to enter the industry means “giving it access to daily communication activities,” which is deemed as a security issue.
“What qualified it in the first place? Why were the other bidders booted out? What is the track record of the winning bidder in the telecommunications business? Was the government opening up the bidding to other players just a formality?” the senators asked in a joint statement.
“Masabi lang (So we can say) that the government went through the process? In December 2017, Malacañang said it wants the government to ensure that China Telecom can begin its Philippine operations by the first quarter of 2018. Ito na ba yun?” the statement added.
The opposition senators said they do not want the government to enter into another “anomalous deal,” citing the National Broadband Network (NBN) deal with China’s ZTE Corp. and the North Rail project.
“We do not want another NBN-ZTE and North Rail anomalous deals in our midst, which if not exposed, would have robbed the people billions of pesos,” the senators said.
The senators said the selection process must be done “right,” noting that Filipinos have longed for free access to the Internet where their private data would not be used for commercial and intelligence without their knowledge. /ee
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