PLDT hits Globe for 'delaying' hearings on Digitel purchase

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 12 2011 07:34 PM | Updated as of Jul 13 2011 03:34 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Lawyers of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) scored Globe Telecom Inc. for delaying the hearing on PLDT's acquisition of Digital Telecommunications Philippines Inc.

Globe, which is opposing the deal, was supposed to present its witness at the National Telecommunications Commission's (NTC) hearing today, but instead filed two separate urgent pleadings to suspend the proceedings.

It cited a recent Supreme Court order asking the Securities and Exchange Commission to determine whether PLDT violated the limit on foreign ownership in public utilities.

It also asked for time to present Froilan Castelo, Globe senior vice president for legal and inter carrier service, since he was still in Brunei on the invitation of NTC.

Despite Globe's insistence to suspend the hearing, witnesses presented by other oppositors -- TXTmate and Sealand Telecommunications Co. -- took the stand.

According to Globe legal counsel Rodolfo Salalima, Globe will exhaust all means in the NTC, but may eventually go to court to stop the hearings, pending the resolution of the issue on PLDT ownership.