Senators oppose China Telecom | The Manila Times Online

Reference:
Tamayo, B.E. (2018, November 13). Senators oppose China Telecom. The Manila Times Online. Retrieved November 14, 2018 from https://www.manilatimes.net/senators-oppose-china-telecom/466654/

Senators oppose China Telecom
BY BERNADETTE E. TAMAYO
NOVEMBER 13, 2018

THE Senate minority bloc on Monday questioned the selection process employed by the government in choosing the Mislatel consortium as the “provisional” new major player (NMP) in the telecommunications industry.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon as well as Senators Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, Francis Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes 4th, in a joint statement, discredited both the selection process and the Mislatel consortium as the third telco (telecommunications company) to operate in the country.

“Why were the other bidders booted out? Simply to show that the government went through the process?” the opposition senators asked.

They also raised issue the reported “involvement of Malacañang” in ensuring that China Telecommunications Corporation (China Telecom) can begin its operations by the first quarter of 2018.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte did not intervene in the selection of the third telco.

“There was a transparent, fair, public and open selection process, done in accordance with laws, as well as with pertinent rules and regulations,” Panelo said.

Senators Francis Escudero and Joel Villanueva, in a separate statement, corroborated Panelo’s statement that the selection process for the NMP was “orderly and transparent.” They lauded the
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Sen. Grace Poe, on the other hand, expressed concern on the presence of China Telecom in the consortium. She said that the issue should not be sidestepped and that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other intelligence agencies should weigh in on the qualifications of China Telecom.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. assured the public that the AFP played a role in the selection of the third telco player.

In a recent Kapihan sa Senado media forum, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said it would be unfair to imply that China Telecom’s presence in Mislatel consortium would be a national security concern.

“I believe China Telecom is a publicly listed firm in mainland China. The books are open, they are transparent,” he said.

National Economic Development Authority chief Ernesto Pernia and Rep. Lito Atienza agreed that the third telco would not only improve internet connectivity and mobile services, it would bring in investment partnerships and capital spending.

Pending confirmation of the provisional NMP, the First Point Group, through the Linkedin platform, had called for job applicants interested to work for the projects of Mislatel consortium.

Published in Nation | Manila Times Online

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