In a resolution received by the parties last week, the SC required the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to file its comment on the petition filed by the Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (PT&T) assailing its disqualification from the bidding for the third telco slot.
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Answer plea vs 3rd telco bidding, SC orders government
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered the government to answer the petition of a disqualified bidder that could stop the awarding of the third telecommunications slot to Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. (Mislatel).

In a resolution received by the parties last week, the SC required the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to file its comment on the petition filed by the Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (PT&T) assailing its disqualification from the bidding for the third telco slot.

The SC gave the respondent 10 days from receipt of notice to comply with the order.

The petition of PT&T challenged the move of NTC to close the bidding process and to officially award the franchise to the consortium of Udenna Corp. of businessman Dennis Uy and China Telecom, the last-standing and only qualified bidder.

PT&T filed the petition before the SC after it was disqualified by the NTC on the bidding process on Nov. 7.

In its petition for certiorari filed through the Zamora and Poblador Law Offices, PT&T asked the SC to “nullify its disqualification from the selection process by the New Major Player Selection Committee (NMP-SC).”

PT&T accused the selection committee that disqualified it of “grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”

The 56-year-old firm specifically challenged the NTC’s definition of national scale, which became the basis for its disqualification.

NTC rules defined national scale as having operations “for a country or particularly regions thereof as geographically designated by the telecommunications authority of that country.”

PT&T questioned the position of the selection committee that having regional operations only referred to foreign companies.

Since the petitioner was unable to obtain a certification that it had 10 years of operations on a national scale—a key requirement under the bidding rules—it was disqualified and its bid documents remain sealed.

Apart from voiding the NTC order disqualifying it from the bidding, PT&T also asked the SC to order the NTC and the selection committee to secure its sealed bid documents and preserve the integrity of the bidding process.

PT&T also asked the SC to have its bid documents opened, believing it should be awarded the third telco slot because its offer was higher than that of Mislatel.

The NTC has confirmed Mislatel as provisional third telco player in an order issued last week.

“For having passed the preliminary and detailed evaluation phases, the NMP-SC has determined that the first submission package of (Mislatel) was complete and compliant,” the confirmation order read.

MINDANAO ISLAMIC TELEPHONE CO. NATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
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