Judge Dinnah Aguila-Topacio of the Manila Regional Trial Court branch 42 in the Philippines has thrown out a legal challenge filed by NOW Telecom which had attempted to stop the selection process of the New Major Player (NMP) via a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). In her ruling, the Judge denied NOW’s plea for a 20-day restraining order against the selection process: the telco – which is one of the prospective bidders for the NMP slot – filed the TRO on 8 October against the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) over the terms of reference (TOR) and what it deemed ‘money-making schemes’. With the petition junked, the selection process should be able to push ahead as scheduled. Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Acting Secretary Eliseo Rio, Jr. welcomed the decision, confirming: ‘We will push through as scheduled’.
Responding to the Judge’s ruling, NOW Corp president and CEO Mel Velarde noted that while the TRO was not granted, hearings on the case are expected to resume on 23 October. ‘Yes, we don’t know when this would end, but everyone does know this is not a one-time or overnight kind of struggle,’ he said.