Singson-backed venture: Mislatel 'unilaterally terminated' contract with DigiPhil

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 11 2018 10:27 PM

MANILA -- Sear Telecom, the consortium backed by former Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis "Chavit" Singson, on Sunday rebuffed Mislatel's assertion of its eligibility to be the third player in the country's telecommunications space.

Mislatel, a consortium between China Telecom and Davao tycoon Dennis Uy, was selected as the "provisional" third telco player after submitting complete bid documents last November 7.

Sear Telecom, meanwhile, had been disqualified for failure to submit a participation security fee of P700 million to the National Telecommunications Commission.

In a statement, Sear Telecom said Mislatel "unilaterally terminated" its contract with DigiPhil, a subsidiary of the former's partner Tier1.

"Mislatel also seeks to free itself from its obligation by now asserting that its agreement with [DigiPhil] has been terminated or rescinded," it said.

"But Mislatel has no right to unilaterally terminate and rescind the agreement. Neither is there any legal and valid basis for such rescission or termination."

It said the contract was "not limited to small projects" contrary to what Mislatel said Saturday.

"Indeed, the agreement itself does not limit the scope of business ventures that the parties may engage. It includes those providing broadband, value added services, telecommunications, cellular mobile telephony, international gateway, voice-band data, other ICT related services, including other services 'within the scope of Mislatel’s legislative franchise," it said.

"Mislatel, therefore, cannot escape the otherwise clear terms of its agreement with DigiPhil by trying to limit its scope."

The consortium called absurd Mislatel's claim that DigiPhil "fraudulently misrepresented or concealed its intention to include bidding for new major player in the scope of the applications under the agreement."

"The agreement states that the parties fully participated in the review and revision of the agreement, and therefore, it must be given fair and plain meaning," it said.

Sear Telecom also claimed that Mislatel still has DigiPhil's P10-million payment for the contract.

"If there is anyone who was misled here, it was DigiPhil who made payments to Mislatel," it said.

"There is no doubt that Mislatel, now enriched by DigiPhil’s payments, unjustifiably and unilaterally terminated the agreement without legal basis, because of offers from its new consortium partners."

The consortium urged the NTC not to be swayed by Mislatel's "unilateral disavowal" of its contractual commitments to DigiPhil.

"Mislatel's breach of the agreement and its false representations to the NTC are matters of record that no amount of denial can hide," it said.