Duterte said the courts should not issue temporary restraining orders for the projects of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), including the third telco player.
Boy Santos/File
Duterte: No TROs vs 3rd telco
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star) - January 7, 2019 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte made it clear over the weekend that he does not want any legal impediment to the selection of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. Inc. (Mislatel) as third telecommunications player and the franchise should be fully operational this year.

Duterte said the courts should not issue temporary restraining orders for the projects of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), including the third telco player.

DICT officer-in-charge Eliseo Rio assured the President that everything is proceeding smoothly in the entry of Mislatel as the third telco player by mid-year.

The President asked Rio about DICT projects including Mislatel’s and if these were questioned before the courts.

“I’ve always warned the judiciary not to interfere about injunctions and all because it will delay the projects of government,” Duterte told Rio during the situation briefing on Tropical Depression Usman in Pili, Camarines Sur on Saturday.

Rio gave assurance the DICT projects are good to go, explaining there were no court injunctions.

Rio also made mention of a petition questioning the selection of Mislatel, which he said they could handle.

Duterte then asked who was the one who filed the petition questioning Mislatel.

Rio could have also referred to a private citizen from Cainta, Rizal who wants to intervene in the petition filed by Philippine Telegraph and Telephone (PT&T) Corp. against the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), seeking to stop the selection of Mislatel as third telco player.

A certain Marlon Anthony Tonson filed a petition-in-intervention before the Supreme Court on Dec. 17, asking the high court to undo the selection process and re-apply fairly Memorandum Circular 09-09-18, the guidelines governing the selection of the third telco player.

Tonson, who identified himself as a taxpayer, sought to nullify the memorandum circular altogether, saying it put in place “anti-competitive obstacles.”

Tonson pointed out the fees imposed under the memorandum circular constituted barriers to genuine competition, in violation of the constitutional policy and statutory provisions on free competition.

Duterte lamented how the filing of injunction against any government project has also become a source of corruption.

Duterte tasked Rio to make sure there will be no corruption in the operation of the third telco player.

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