Moro-moro ang bidding? Insider sets stage for favored firm to win as 3rd telco
The public selection of the Philippines’ third telecommunications company Wednesday (November 7) may just be all for show since there’s already a firm favored (FF) to win the bidding.
A source told Bilyonaryo that a powerful insider (PI) has assured FF of victory by helping it comply with the requirements and putting his own people in the selection committee.
According to Bilyonaryo’s source, the apparent rigging of the bidding process is the reason why some of the nine other contenders have either backed out of the race or gone to court.
Mobitel and Streamtech Technologies have withdrawn from the selection process, while NOW Telecom and PT&T have sued the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) over alleged anomalies in the provisions they drew up for the bidding.
Former Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson, whose company, LCS, partnered with TierOne for the bidding, has complained about the constant changes in the DICT and NTC’s terms of reference (TOR) for naming the third telco player.
Bilyonaryo’s source said PI gave FF an advantage in the bidding early on by having his men fix its documents.
But what sealed the deal for FF is PI’s appointment of his own people to the committee tasked to choose the new telco player.
Industry veterans couldn’t believe their eyes when they found out who would be in the selection committee: An unknown official from Mindanao, an abogado, the head of a broadcasting station and the head for administrative and janitorial services of a new regulatory agency.
The committee members’ common denominator is their ties to PI.
The lackluster background of the selection committee members was the reason why PI couldn’t give a satisfactory answer when quizzed about the panel by a lawmaker at a recent congressional inquiry.
With PI pulling the strings for FF, Bilyonaryo’s source warned: “Cheating is about to happen in a few hours.”
PI was able to keep his clout in the telco industry because of his ties to powerful politikos. He was initially appointed to another government agency by a fraternity brother, but was soon transferred to his current post.
Thanks to his brods and the backing of a powerful religious sect, PI managed to stay on in office long enough to benefit from rigging the third telco’s selection.