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CA pumabor sa NTC vs Now Telecom

June 7, 2021 People's Tonight 351 views

Now Telcom laglag sa CA: P14B para sa hinihirit na frequencies sa NTC

NATALO sa Court of Appeals (CA) ang kaso ng Now Telecom nang katigan ng CA ang November 2018 decision ng Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 42 na huwag payagan ang petisyon ng Now Telecom na humihirit na maibasura ang implementasyon ng isang National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) circular.

Sa desisyon ng CA, nakasaad na hindi umabuso sa kapangyarihan ang NTC nang magtakda ito ng financial requirements sa pagpili ng third telco o new major player (NMP) noong 2018 (na napagtagumpayan ni Dito Telecommunity makaraang ang bilyonaryong si Dennis Uy ang maiwan bilang tanging eligible bidder), partikular ang P700 milyong participation security, P14 bilyong hanggang P24 bilyong performance security, at P10 milyong non-refundable appeal fee.

“Even without DICT (Department of Information and Communications Technology) Memorandum Order 1 Series of 2018, the NTC, by law, had the authority to issue subject circular and impose certain reservations or qualifications with respect to the entry of participants to become NMP and, subsequently, to the grant of a CPCN in the NMP’s favor,”ayon sa desisyon ng CA First Division na inakda ni Associate Justice Alfredo Ampuan.

Kinontra rin ng CA ang claim ng Now Telecom na ang NTC requirements ay “confiscatory and anti-competitive” kaya kailangan itong ibasura. “The imposition, albeit excessive to the mind of petitioner, was proper as it was issued precisely to ensure that only qualified and capable bidders could participate in the selection of the NMP,” ayon pa sa CA.

Sa argumento ng Now Telecom, sa pamamagitan ng franchise to operate ng NOW Telecom at pagbibigay ng cellular mobile telecommunications services (CMTS), na naigawad sa kanila noong 1995 ay mas karapat-dapat sila sa mas marami at mas malawak na frequencies kaysa sa kasalukuyang naibigay sa kanila ng NTC.

Nakasaad pa sa ruling ng CA na wala sa porma ang “sense of entitlement” ng Now Telecom. Wala umanong karapatan ang petisyuner na humirit ng mga gusto nitong frequencies dahil lamang nabigyan sila ng legislative franchise na makapag-operate at mag-provide ng CMTS.

“At the outset, it bears stressing that nowhere in the petitioner’s legislative franchise does it show that it is entitled to specific frequencies, including the radio frequency spectrum allocated to the selected NMP by virtue of the subject circular,” ayon pa sa desisyon ng CA.

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