Duterte warns SC against blocking Dennis Uy telco franchise: ‘Wag niyong pag-kwartahan ‘yan!
President Rodrigo Duterte has warned Supreme Court justices not to block bilyonaryo Dennis Uy from taking over the third telco franchise awarded by the government.
“I’ve always warned the judiciary not to interfere about injunctions and all because it will delay the projects of government. Iyan kasi ang pinagka-kwartahan nila eh. Some — some son of a bitch will file an opposition or an objection then he goes to court,” said Duterte in his conversation with acting Information and Communication Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio during a disaster meeting in Bicol Friday.
Last November, the government awarded the third telco franchise to Uy after his Mislatel consortium remained as the only qualified bidder during the auction where the rest of the bidders were all disqualified.
PT&T and a certain Marlon Anthony Tonson, through counsel Arnel Victor Valeña, filed separate petitions with the SC seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) against government from awarding the telco franchise to Mislatel (Uy’ foreign partner is China Telecom).
When asked by Duterte if the telco franchise was under litigation, Rio said: “Because of your strong political will, you have already announced that sir way back when you were pushing us for the third telco. You already announced that ‘I don’t want any injunction’. And so far, sir, no injunction, no terms — temporary restraining order was ever done by any court on any of our projects in telecommunication.
Duterte asked about the “idiot” who filed the case with the SC. Rio replied: “Well, sir, hindi na namin pinapansin ‘to sir. We are sure it will not really prosper. We can answer all the — their concerns sir in court. So far we are — we were not yet brought to court sir.”
Rio assured the President that Mislatel would run the franchise by the middle of this year. “Tuloy-tuloy ho ito. Wala na itong problema sir,” said Rio.
Duterte ordered Rio to ignore any injunction and proceed with the project. His only demand was that there should be no corruption involved in the deal.
” Well, worse comes to worst, never mind the… You know, if you give importance to every governmental action by other branches of government or department, bigyan mo ng ano, matatagalan talaga tayo. Why don’t you just go ahead and wait? If they are — if you are cited in contempt of court, you can always go to jail for that. Basta wala lang corruption,” said Duterte.
“That’s the only thing that I am worried about. But if there’s, you know, an insistence on our part, to go ahead with the job and it’s clean, no corruption is involved, they can all go to hell, you can proceed,” he added.