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Singson group insists agreement with Mislatel valid, binding

Sear Consortium—the group of TierOne Communications International and the Chavit Singson-led LCS Group of Companies—over the weekend insisted that the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Co. (Mislatel) has existing contractual obligations.

In a statement released on Sunday, Sear claimed that Mislatel still has contractual obligations with TierOne subsidiary DigiPhil Technology, making it ineligible to partner with other firms.

"Not content in misleading the NTC [National Telecommunications Commission] and the general public in its submissions to the former during the bid opening on November 7, Mislatel now scurrilously seeks to further deceive the Filipino people on the real scope and status of its Agreement with DigiPhil," it said.

Mislatel is a member of the Mislatel Consortium, made up of Dennis Uy's Udenna Corp., its subsidiary Chelsea Logistics Holdings Inc., and China Telecommunications Corp., which last week was declared as the country's provisional third telco.

Sear last week said it will file charges against the Mislatel Consortium before the Makati or Pasig Regional Trial Court as DigiPhil and Mislatel still have binding agreements.

According to Sear Telecom legal counsel Raoul Creencia, under the agreement, DigiPhil has the right of first refusal and should be informed first should Mislatel consider to partner with other firms.

Mislatel on Saturday said, however, that it has no contractual obligations with Sear as the contract was terminated on October 5 this year.

In its statement on Sunday, Sear insisted that the agreement was still binding.

"Mislatel also seeks to free itself from its obligation by now asserting that its Agreement with Mislatel has been terminated or rescinded," the statement read.

"But Mislatel has no right to unilaterally terminate and rescind the Agreement. Neither is there any legal and valid basis for such rescission or termination," it added.

Creencia earlier said that should Mislatel be adjudged to have breached the contract, it will be ineligible to partner with, and the Mislatel Consortium will have no congressional franchise, one major requirement for the third telco.

"Mislatel's breach of the Agreement and its false representations to the NTC are matters of record that no amount of denial can hide," the Sear Consortium said. — BM, GMA News