Mislatel is still provisional 3rd telco as NTC junks appeals of SEAR Telecoms, PT&T

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 13) — It looks like the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) stays as the country's new major telco player (NMP).

The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) on Monday junked the motions for reconsideration filed by the Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Company (PT&T), and SEAR Telecoms - the consortium of Mindanao-based TierOne Communications, the Luis Chavit Singson Group of Companies and a few foreign firms.

READ: PT&T, SEAR file motions for reconsideration on 3rd telco bid

In the nine-page decision addressed to SEAR Telecoms dated November 12, NTC said it had no jurisdiction to decide on disputes among participants.

It reiterated that the NTC selected the new player based on results of the evaluation of committed level of service in the submitted documents.

SEAR Telecoms in their motion questioned Mislatel's purported existing contractual obligations with TierOne subsidiary DigiPhil.

NTC ruled, contrary to SEAR Telecoms' claims, the agreement was neither "fraudulent nor obstructive" under the instruction to the bidding participants.

But the commission said SEAR Telecoms may seek recourse before appropriate courts to resolve their contractual dispute with Mislatel.

After the decision , SEAR Telecoms issued a statement calling the NTC's decision "rushed." It added the commission just "washed its hands."

"It forced a liberal and wrong interpretation of what constitutes a violation of its rules, forgetting that the selection process is imbued with public interest, and hence should have been more strictly enforced," SEAR Telecoms said in a statement.

Mislatel earlier denied having existing contracts with TierOne, adding that the firm's contract with DigiPhil had already been terminated and was not intended for submission to the NTC to vie for the third major telco player.

PT&T, in their disclosure at the Philippine Stock Exchange, said the NTC also rejected their appeal.

In a statement, PT&T said it is currently reviewing the selection committee's denial.

"We will be advising the stakeholders on the next steps that the company will take as soon as the same is decided by the management," it said.

Mislatel, under its commitment to the NTC, is mandated to provide nationwide services for telco, in competition with PLDT-Smart and Globe.