Mislatel refutes SEAR Telecoms’ claims, defends franchise

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 11) — A third provisional new major player (NMP) for telecommunications was selected Wednesday, but the controversies are far from over.

Two of the disqualified bidders, Sear Telecoms and the Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company (PT&T) have filed their motions for reconsideration at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) Friday, with Sear alleging that one of the members of their consortium has an existing partnership contract with winning bidder Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel).

Mislatel won the bid through a consortium with Davao-based company Udenna Corporation, its logistics arm Chelsea Logistics Holdings, and foreign government-owned China Telecom. Meanwhile, Sear Telecoms is a consortium involving Mindanao-based TierOne Communications, the Luis Chavit Singson Group of Companies, and a few foreign businesses.

“On the claims by Mr. Chavit Singson that TierOne has an existing and exclusive contract with Mislatel specifically for the selection process for the NMP for the telecommunications industry; the simple fact is that Mislatel has no contract with TierOne,” Mislatel said in a statement.

Sear Telecoms had in its motion for reconsideration said that Mislatel has an existing contract with DigiPhil, a subsidiary of TierOne.

“What Mislatel had was a terminated contract with a company called DigiPhil that was meant for small projects, like VSAT. To be very clear, the contract with DigiPhil was not intended for the purpose of submitting a bid with the NTC for the NMP for the telecommunications industry,” Mislatel added.

It also said that it has an existing franchise, one of the requirements for entering the selection process.

“During the selection process at the NTC, the Selection Committee confirmed the validity of the Mislatel franchise,” Mislatel said.

As the provisional NMP, Mislatel is mandated to provide nationwide telecommunications services based on its commitment to the NTC.