NTC awaits court ruling on Liberty Telecoms rehab case

- Rainier Allan Ronda -

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said it will wait for the courts to decide on the rehabilitation of small and financially-beleaguered telecommunications company Liberty Telecoms Holdings, Inc. before making any move to revoke the broadband radio frequency awarded to it by the agency.

NTC Commissioner Ruel V. Canobas, in an interview with reporters last Tuesday, said they have been monitoring the progress of the court rehabilitation case filed against Liberty Telecoms at the Makati City regional trial court.

‘We’re waiting for the rehabilitation case. It’s in the courts already,” Canobas said.

Canobas said the NTC would be provided a copy of any court resolution involving the company which would then be the commission’s basis for any action to be taken on the broadband frequency awarded to the company by the NTC in the past.

According to Canobas, NTC records show that Liberty Telecoms’ subsidiary Liberty Broadcasting Network, Inc. (LBNI), remains still in possession of the 700 megahertz broadband frequency awarded to it by the NTC.

This, he said, has not prevented other companies from applying for the said frequency.

“There are applicants for that frequency. But per hour records, it’s still with LBNI,” Canobas said.

It will be recalled that a creditor of debt-ridden Liberty Telecoms, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., had recently asked the Makati court to subpoena Canobas and two other NTC officials regarding the alleged transfer of a frequency which the holding company’s subsidiary LBNI, owns.

In connection with a motion to terminate rehabilitation proceedings and to allow the liquidation of Liberty’s assets, RCBC asked the court to subpoena Canobas, NTC frequency management division chief Pricilla F. Demition, and the division’s former acting chief, Joselito C. Leynes to shed light on LBNI’s possession of the said frequency.

The creditor aired particular concern about a WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) Network Service which Liberty proposed to offer under a revised rehabilitation plan earlier approved by the court.

RCBC said it received information that the NTC has awarded radio frequency 700 meghertz to Smart Broadband Inc. The said frequency is crucial to any rehabilitation of LBNI and the WiMAX network service business it proposed to set up and be the backbone of the telecommunications company’s proposed rehabilitation plan.

RCBC said the rehabilitation plan would no longer be possible if there was frequency transfer.

RCBC thus said it wants the trial court to proceed with the liquidation of assets of Liberty Holdings and its subsidiaries to settle their P1.7 billion in outstanding obligations.

LBNI and Skyphone Logistics Inc. operate under Liberty Holdings.







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