Manila court rejects TRO petition vs SEA Games info system project

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 04 2019 03:33 PM | Updated as of Nov 04 2019 05:01 PM

National athletes try out on Sept. 1, 2019 the new sports facilities at the Athlete Stadium in New Clark City, which will be used for the 2019 SEA Games. ABS-CBN News file photo

MANILA -- A Manila judge has denied a firm’s petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) questioning a government bidding for the information system project in the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The system is a “one-stop shop” for scores, medal tally, players’ stats, and other important data for the regional meet slated from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, said lawyer Jarie Osias, spokesman of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC).

With the ruling, he said there was “no legal obstacle or any legal barricade for the SEA Games information system to proceed.”

“Just to be extreme about it, kung walang SEA Games information system, we could go back to the era na nag-iiskor tayo using blackboard and chalk,” he told ABS-CBN News.

(Just to be extreme about if, if there's no SEA Games information system, we could go back to the era when scores are written on a blackboard using chalk.)

“That’s a drastic or grim scenario and we are prepared actually to not let that happen. That’s why we’re fighting this out in court.”

IT firm Atos Philippines Inc. sought the TRO assailing the August bidding, insisting it won the deal in January this year.

CONDITIONAL

But documents presented by Atos showed that the deal supposedly awarded to it was “conditional and contingent in character,” Judge Josefina Siscar said in her Oct. 30 order.

“It is still subject to the execution and signing of a legally binding agreement between Atos and PHISGOC,” she said.

The court also described as “speculative” the petitioner’s claim that it would be forced to close its Philippine operations if the contract was awarded to the winning bidder.

Whatever losses supposedly incurred by Atos were “not irreparable as to warrant the issuance of a TRO,” it said.

“The loss, if any, is quantifiable and reparable,” the court ruled, noting that Atos had earlier pegged the amount at a minimum of $3 million in “substantial expenses.”

A Nov. 12 court date was set to also hear the respondents' arguments on Atos’ petition for a writ of preliminary injunction.

Respondents in the case include PHISGOC, the budget department’s procurement office, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the winning bidder.

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2019 SEA Games