OSG wants High Court to dismiss PT&T petition

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THE Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) asked the Supreme Court (SC) to dismiss the petition of Philippine Telegraph & Telephone Corp. (PT&T) that sought to reverse its disqualification from the third telco selection process and the declaration of Mislatel consortium as the provisional new major player.

In its 38-page comment filed on Jan. 21, Solicitor General Jose C. Calida disputed the argument of PT&T that the New Major Player-Selection Committee (NMP-SC) committed grave abuse of discretion when it declared Mislatel as the provisional new major player, claiming that Mislatel’s congressional franchise had been revoked.

“Based on the Document Verification Report and the Supplemental Document Verification Report submitted to the NMP-SC, the submitted Selection Documents of Mislatel group is found to be complete, valid and duly executed,” Mr. Calida said.

The OSG also cited a Nov. 13, 2018 letter from the House of Representatives committee on legislative franchises, which indicated it had not received any notice that any judicial or quasi-judicial body revoked or canceled Mislatel’s franchise.

Mr. Calida also noted the NMP-SC did not commit grave abuse of discretion when it disqualified PT&T in the selection process since the company failed to submit a certification of technical capability.

The PT&T filed its petition before the High Court on Nov. 12.

The OSG said the petition should be dismissed since PT&T did not exhaust the available administrative remedies and violated the hierarchy of courts.

It said PT&T should have filed a petition with the National Telecommunications Commission en banc when its motion for reconsideration was denied instead of going straight to the SC.

“It is settled that, before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the courts, it is pre-condition that he avail himself of all administrative remedy within the administrative processes afforded him,” Mr. Calida said.

Mislatel consortium is composed of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co., Inc., Udenna Corp., Chelsea Logistics Holdings, Corp. and China Telecom Corp. Ltd. — V.M.Villegas