Not so fast! Lawmaker: Congress can’t approve Mislatel’s ‘illegal’ sale to Dennis Uy
Surigao Del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay has thrown a wrench into the Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company’s (Mislatel) bid to formalize the sale of its controlling stake to businessman Dennis Uy.
Pichay stopped the House Committee on Legislative Franchises Monday (December 10) from hastily approving House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) No. 23 on Mislatel’s sale due to legal questions over its partnership with China Telecom and Uy’s Udenna Corporation and Chelsea Logistics.
The lawmaker said the panel cannot approve Mislatel’s sale because it has a pending contract with Digiphil, a subsidiary of TierOne Communications.
Former Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson teamed up with TierOne to form Sear Telecoms for the selection of the third telco player. The consortium lost to Uy.
“There are certain provisions that Mislatel didn’t follow. Mislatel disregarded this agreement and under the Constitution, prior rights has to be respected,” Pichay said at the committee hearing.
“Digiphil has already acquired prior rights by this agreement so this committee cannot approve a transfer of acquisition because there is a pending legal obstacle,” he added.
Mislatel president Nicanor Escalante said the company already ended its agreement with Digiphil because its contract did not specify that their partnership will be for the selection of the third telco.
Pichay, however, said only a court can decide if a contract should be terminated if both parties are not in mutual agreement over it.
The panel has invited Digiphil officials to another hearing Tuesday (December 11) to shed light on the contract with Mislatel.