Lacson: Duterte should also warn local execs extorting money from telcos | Inquirer News

Lacson: Duterte should also warn local execs extorting money from telcos

/ 01:23 PM July 28, 2020

Senator Ping Lacson. INQUIRER file photo / EDWIN BACASMAS

MANILA, Philippines — While he welcomed the President’s ultimatum for telecommunications companies to shape up or face closure, Senator Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday said the chief executive failed to issue a “similar warning” against local executives who he alleged “extort money from the telcos.”

In his fifth State of the Nation Address, the President warned PLDT Smart and Globe Telecom of expropriation should both companies fail to improve its services by the end of the year.


Lacson said the two telcos should treat the President’s appeal as a “wake-up call” to enhance the services to the Filipino public.


“One thing in the President’s statement on the issue is certain and true: that our country’s telecommunications services pale in comparison with our neighbors and with other jurisdictions in terms of speed and efficiency,” the senator said.

“But what the President failed to issue is a similar warning to some local government unit executives who extort money from the telcos in exchange for permits and licenses as well as ‘protection’ from delays in the construction of such facilities, especially in areas where the presence of armed groups like the CPP-NPA is strong,” he added.

Whether the government takeover of telcos would be a “justified” move and is constitutional is “another matter altogether,” Lacson also said.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III earlier noted that it was “possible” for the government to take over the operations of a company.

“There is a process. That is possible. The government can remove those franchises anytime with another bill or with another law,” Sotto said in a television interview.

“The President can do that,” he added.


For his part, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon agreed with the President in calling for the improvement of internet service in the country.

“I agree with the President. We must improve the services of these two telcos,” Drilon said in an interview over CNN Philippines.

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“Even in the Senate sometimes we have a teleconference talking about telcos and we could not hear each other, because the signals are very poor. I think there is no dispute that we need an improvement insofar as telco is concerned,” he added.

TAGS: Nation, News, Rodrigo Duterte, SONA 2020, telcos

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