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THIRD TELCO BID

Singson group to sue Udenna-China Tel consortium


The consortium of Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp. and China Telecommunications Corp. may face disqualification raps against its third telco bid, as one of the competitors claims it has a binding agreement with the group’s franchise holder.

Sear Telecom lawyer Raoul Creencia said they will file a case against the Mislatel Consortium before the Makati or Pasig Regional Trial Court in the coming days. He did not specify the date.

Misaltel consists of Udenna Corp., its subsidiary Chelsea Logistics Holdings Inc., and state-owned China Telecommunications Corp.

Sear Telecom is the consortium between TierOne Communications International and Singson-led LCS Group of Companies which also submitted a bid for the third telco slot on Wednesday. But Sear was disqualified for lacking the required documents.

Mislatel was the lone bidder to qualify and proceed to the next phase of screening by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

Creencia claimed that TierOne subsidiary DigiPhil Technology has a binding agreement that should Mislatel partner with other firms, DigiPhil should first be informed.

“Our issue is against Mislatel, not Udenna. To stop Mislatel from allowing its franchise to be used by somebody else in the absence of a prior consent by its counterparty which is DigiPhil,” Creencia noted.

“Mislatel cannot allow ... is not allowed to have its franchise permits and franchises used by somebody else without a prior official consent of DigiPhil,” the lawyer said.

"DigiPhil, in other words, has the right of first refusal, [but] the prohibition is not absolute. For as long as [Mislatel can] get the consent of DigiPhil, Mislatel can actually consort and partner with someone else but they did not,” he added.

If the Makati RTC rules in favor of Sear Telecom, Creencia said the Mislatel Consortium could be disqualified in its bid for the third major telco player as it would have no congressional franchise, a significant requirement for the telco player.

“If Mislatel will be adjudged to have breached the contract, it is therefore not eligible to partner with ... So there’s no CF [congressional franchise], no NMP [new major player]. That’s a fatal flaw,” he said. —VDS, GMA News

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