Manila court denies NOW Telecom's petition against NTC

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 06 2018 05:25 PM

MANILA - A Manila court has denied NOW Telecom’s plea to stop the enforcement of certain provisions of the NTC memorandum circular on the selection of the third telco.

In a ten-page order dated Nov. 5, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 42 denied NOW Telecom's prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.

NOW Telecom sued NTC saying the third telco selection process had turned into a "money-making scheme" since it requires bidders to put up a P700-million participation security, P14-billion to P24-billion performance security, and P10-million non-refundable appeal fee.

The court however upheld the financial provisions in the NTC memorandum circular, saying the third telco player should have the financial muscle to compete with PLDT and Globe.

In denying the plea for a preliminary injunction, the court also said NOW Telecom was not able to show any clear and vested right over the radio frequency it seeks from the remaining available radio frequencies. 

“The grant of legislative franchise does not bestow on it a vested right over a specific radio frequency,” the court said.

It said that a clear and unmistakable right is one of the requirements for the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction.

The court also noted that NOW Telecom has yet to qualify as a third telco bidder after the company admitted that it had yet to form a consortium to meet the requirement for a P10-billion peso aggregate paid-up capital.

Lastly, the court faulted NOW Telecom for conceding that it was not seeking to stop the selection process.

This means, the selection process may proceed as planned. 

Barring any court order, a provisional third telecommunication player may be named this month, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Officer-in-Charge Eliseo Rio earlier said.