Chavit Singson plans to sue Mislatel over third telco row

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 27 2018 01:07 PM | Updated as of Nov 27 2018 02:45 PM

MANILA - Former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis "Chavit" Singson on Tuesday said he planned to sue a former associate for breach of contract after it joined a rival consortium that won rights to establish a third telco.

Singson told a hearing of the Senate Committee on Public Services that Mislatel signed an exclusive contract and received P5 million from DigiPhil, which is part of losing bidder Sear.

Mislatel would later become part of a consortium of the same name, which won the third telco rights. The venture also includes China Telecom and businessman Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp and Chelsea Logistics.

"Masaya naman sila, itong CEO, nakangiti nga sila nung tinanggap 'yung P5 million," Singson said while motioning towards Mislatel CEO Nicanor Escalante who was also at the hearing.

(They were happy when they received the P5 million. Their CEO was even smiling.)

"Pero dumating na lang ang isang abogado na [sinabing] rescinded na. Hindi sila pumunta sa korte," he said.

(But one of their lawyers just said that the contract has been rescinded. They did not even go to court.)

Singson did not say when the breach of contract case would be filed.

Mislatel Corp terminated its contract with DigiPhil "for reasons of gross and fraudulent misrepresentation," said its CEO Nicanor Escalante said.

"The subject of our cooperation is doing some connectivity in the unserved and underserved areas in the country, very small project ito. There is no mention whether directly or indirectly of a third telco," he said.

"We were very surprised when they said the agreement already included the third telco selection," he said.

DigiPhil chief Ed Millana initially agreed to receive a P10-million refund from us, but later on withdrew his approval, said John Coluso, Mislatel's legal counse.

"Sabi niya (Millana), 'sorry, attorney,' hindi na 'yun ang amount. Kailangan ko tanungin ang grupo,'" Coluso said pertaining to Singson's Sear consortium.

(He said, 'sorry, attorney,' it's not the amount. I need to consult with the group.)

"We were waiting for him to come back to us, we never heard anything from them anymore," he said.

Should the court rule in favor of Singson and disqualify Mislatel as the third telco, the government will hold another bidding, Acting Information and Communications Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio said.

Singson's Sear consortium and the Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) were both disqualified from the bidding for submitting incomplete requirements.