Poe: New bidding better than have Mislatel questioned in court
MANILA, Philippines – It would be better to restart the bidding process for a new major player in the telecommunications industry than have the legality of the franchise of the winning bidder questioned in court, Senator Grace Poe said Tuesday.
It was revealed during a Senate hearing that the franchise of Mislatel Consortium, the provisional third telco, could be deemed void over alleged violations in its franchise.
READ: Drilon: Mislatel franchise considered revoked for violating conditions
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services conducting hearings on the third telco, pointed out that if Mislatel was allowed to operate despite the complications of its franchise, the issue could be brought to the courts and the establishment of the third telco could be delayed for years.
“Kunyari pinayagan dito sa Senado at pinasahan namin yan, kung mayroong mag-question at yan ay dumating sa korte at pinatigil yan, mas lalong di magkakaroon ng bidding na naman, baka abutin ng taon bago tayo magkaroon ng isa pang telco,” Poe said in an interview over dzMM.
If, however, the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and National Telecommunications Commission (NCT) restart the bidding process, the delay would only be three months, Poe said.
“Kung agad gumawa tayo ng desisyon na hindi legal ang prangkisa [na] ‘di na pwede yang Mislatel, makakapag-umpisa uli ng bidding ang DICT at NTC. Pero madedelay tayo ng about 3 months,” she said.
The senator said that she would have to consider the national interest in deciding on the matter and if Congress finds a legal way to allow Mislatel to operate as the third telco, she would go for it.
But if the matter would be brought to court, she said it would be better to restart the bidding process and sacrifice three months of delay instead of a decade.
“Basta ako, national interest, kung sasabihin na kailangan na talaga natin at merong legal na paraan para gawin yan, yan ay aking patutunguhan,” Poe said.
“Pero pag sinabing magkakabuhol-buhol pa yan sa korte, eh di magsakripisyo tayo ng tatlong buwan kaysa naman isang dekada,” she added.
Poe’s committee is set to resume its probe on Wednesday to tackle the franchise of Mislatel.
The panel has invited legal experts such as the deans of law schools to give insight on the legality of the consortium’s franchise.
The panel is expected to release its committee report next week, she said. /cbb
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