MANILA - The Mislatel consortium asserted on Saturday the validity of its franchise and its eligibility to be the third player in the country's telecommunications space.
This, after disqualified bidder Sear Telecom and its partner Tier1, a consortium backed by former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson, questioned Mislatel's franchise and eligibility to be the third telco player.
"The Mislatel franchise is unquestionably valid and subsisting," Mislatel said in a statement Saturday.
A consortium between China Telecom and Davao tycoon Dennis Uy, Mislatel was selected as the "provisional" third telco player after submitting complete bid documents last Nov. 7.
Mislatel added that it was also included in the list released by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) of valid bidders to be the third telco player. Based on the list, Mislatel's franchise is set to expire in 2023.
"...[D]uring the selection process at the NTC, the Selection Committee confirmed the validity of the Mislatel franchise," Mislatel said.
'NO EXISTING CONTRACT'
The Uy-backed consortium also debunked Singson's claims that it has an existing and exclusive contract with Tier1.
Singson, in contesting his consortium's disqualification in the third telco race, questioned Mislatel's eligibility and said it violated regulations when it used a franchise that already had an "exclusive" binding agreement with Tier1.
"The simple fact is that Mislatel has no contract with Tier1," Mislatel said.
It clarified that what Mislatel had was a terminated contract with DigiPhil "meant for small projects."
"A simple reading of the contract shows that it makes absolutely no reference to the third telco bid," Mislatel said.
Mislatel's selection had drawn questions over Uy's reported closeness to President Rodrigo Duterte, as the businessman and his wife had donated P31 million to his 2016 presidential campaign.
But Malacañang downplayed this and said personal ties do not matter with the President.