Third telco bidding: Palace downplays Duterte-Uy link
MANILA – Malacañang yesterday downplayed the close ties between President Rodrigo Duterte and businessman Dennis Uy, after the latter’s joint venture emerged as the country’s “provisional” new major telecommunications player.
The government on Wednesday, November 7, selected Mislatel as the third telco player that would go against PLDT Inc. and Globe Telecom. Mislatel includes China Telecom, and Uy’s Udena Corp. and Chelsea Logistics.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the selection of Uy’s consortium underwent the proper bidding process and the President did not intervene.
“I think it’s a baseless assumption given the character of this President. It is farfetched. Relationship, alliances, friendships do not matter with this president. ‘You follow the law, I’ll be with you. You don’t follow the law, I’m against you,’” Panelo said in a Palace news conference.
“The President’s policy is not to interfere with his departments. The president has nothing to do with any of those biddings, or negotiation of contracts.”
Uy, president and chief executive officer of Phoenix Petroleum, and his wife Cherylyn gave a total of P31 million in cash to the Duterte campaign as shown in the president’s Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).
Panelo said while Mislatel emerged as the provisional new major telecommunications player, the other bidders still have the chance to appeal their bids.
Mislatel beat Tier1, backed by former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson, and Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T).
Singson’s group and PT&T were disqualified for failing to meet all the bidding requirements.
Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Officer-in-Charge Eliseo Rio said he was confident that the government can rule on the losing bidders’ appeals within the month and give a final decision on the winner of the selection process.
Rio also defended the selection process against speculations that the joint venture of Uy and China Telecom was favored.
“‘Yung ginawa naming computer program, wala kami talagang discretion, we can’t subtract or deduct or add anything to what they’ve inputed. ‘Yung lumabas ‘yung result ito na ang result,” he said.
“Wala po,” he said when asked if he received a call from the Malacañang.
Mislatel said its “immediate priority will be to prepare and to consolidate all the required resources in order to provide the best telecommunications services that Filipinos have been aspiring for.”
One of China’s biggest carriers, China Telecom boasts of 281.6 million subscribers at the end of the first half of 2018, of which 217.3 million are on 3G. Its total base is nearly three times the Philippines’ population. It posted net income of 13.6 billion yuan (roughly $2 billion) in the January to June period.
President Rodrigo Duterte applauds after awarding the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Global Excellence Award to Udenna Corporation President Dennis Uy during the concluding ceremonies of the 44th Philippine Business Conference and Expo (PBC&E) at the Manila Hotel in the City of Manila on October 18, 2018.