MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang has assured the public it will not enter into any out-of-court settlement with the Philippine International Air Terminals Corp. (PIATCO) over payments for the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3.
In a press conference, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said “with respect to those allegations of dealings, rest assured na hindi kami papayag doon.”
The government had just won the arbitration case filed by Piatco with the International Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.
This means that there is no hampering the government from fully expropriating the terminal.
Newspaper columnist Jarius Bondoc said some quarters have sent emissaries to meet with the Aquino administration in order to sway it into settling out of court. These parties supposedly want to buy out PIATCO.
Lacierda said Palace officials are now being apprised by lawyers in connection with the case.
He said the out-of-court settlement was not discussed by the lawyers.
The government moved to take control of the terminal after the Supreme Court voided PIATCO’s build-operate-transfer contract.
The 2003 decision, which mentioned irregularities in the deal, ordered the government to pay the firm an initial $60 million or about P3 billion.
The government went to a Pasay court in 2005 to have the terminal expropriated.
Valuation experts are still finalizing the structure’s worth. The just compensation for the builders is initially pegged at around $200 million.
The government can only exercise full ownership upon paying PIATCO its just compensation.