Court of Appeals throws out legal challenge to third telco selection

21 Mar 2019

The Philippine Star writes that the Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed a petition filed by Mel Velarde’s NOW Telecom in November 2018, which sought to stop the government’s selection process for the country’s New Major Player (NMP), or ‘third telco’. In its resolution, the Special 11th Division of the appellate court denied the petition which questioned the legality of the terms of reference (TOR) set by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC). The CA threw out NOW Telecom’s request for a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction to stop the award of the NMP award to the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company (Mislatel) consortium, after Solicitor General Jose Calida asked the appeal court to dismiss the petition for ‘lack of merit’ and pointed out that ‘NOW Telecom is not entitled to such relief because it did not participate in the bidding process and therefore had no legal standing to file the case’. Calida argued that the petitioner had effectively ‘waived or abandoned’ its right to question the TOR when it did not submit a bid during the selection process last year.