Senate panel resumes probe on third telco Thursday

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Sen. Grace Poe. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 23) — A Senate panel will resume its investigation into the country's third telecommunications (telco) entity on Thursday, January 24.

The third hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services will tackle the compliance of the winning bidder, Mislatel Consortium, within the 90-day evaluation period that includes a background check by the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency.

Mislatel Consortium was chosen on November 2018 to break the duopoly of Globe Telecom and PLDT-Smart Communications. The consortium is composed of Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy's Udenna Corporation, Chelsea Logistics, Mindanao Islamic Telephone Corporation, and Chinese state-owned China Telecommunications Corporation.

In a statement Tuesday, Senate committee chairperson Sen. Grace Poe said she expects Uy to attend the third hearing. He previously missed the November 27 probe due to prior commitments.

"We hope that this third telco lives up to its promise to improve the telco services in the country because there will be more competition in the industry. Gusto talaga nating magtagumpay ang third telco pero kaakibat nito, dapat mapawi ang mga agam-agam ukol sa seguridad ng ating bansa [We want this third telco to succeed, but they have to allay our concerns about national security]," Poe said.

Should Mislatel fail to meet it commitments in five years, it would forfeit its ₱25-billion bond to the National Telecommunications Commission.