PLDT loses case against Globe-Bayantel
The Supreme Court (SC) has turned down moves by publicly-listed telco Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) to block Globe and Bayan Telecommunications Inc.'s (Bayantel) application for regulatory approval filed before the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), according to a report by Philippine News Agency.
In a six-page resolution released February 16, the Court’s First Division held that the petition for review filed by PLDT seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals decision issued six years ago is already moot.
The said CA ruling affirmed the validity of the NTC order that allowed the continuation of the proceedings before the NTC in connection with Globe and Bayantel's joint application for regulatory approval and denied the PLDT’s motion to dismiss or suspend the same.
The Court explained that the petition for review has become moot and academic with the approval of Globe and Bayantel’s Joint Application by the NTC last July 2, 2015.
“In this case, while the certiorari petition filed by PLDT questioning the interlocutory orders issued by the NTC was pending, the NTC rendered a decision on the Joint Application…Given this development, any action on the certiorari petition on mere incidental matters of the Joint Application would not accord any practical relief to PLDT,” the resolution read.
Globe and Bayantel has sought the denial of PLDT’s petition for review on the ground that it has become moot and academic because of the issuance of the 2015 NTC decision on approving the Joint Application.
They noted that PLDT has already resorted to the filing of motion for reconsideration before the NTC seeking to set aside its July 2, 2015 resolution.
PLDT claims the NTC violated its own rules and the company's right to due process when it did not order the joint applicants to append the amended rehabilitation plan (ARP) and the master restructuring agreement (MRA) to the joint application.
The PLDT added that the joint application seeks the transfer of Bayantel's franchise to Globe, thus, prior congressional approval is needed and that by holding in abeyance the resolution of the issue of whether or not prior legislative approval is required to entertain the join application, the NTC appropriated unto itself powers that are inherent in the Congress and which were not delegated.
PLDT stressed that the NTC violated its own rules, the notarial rules, rules of court and other applicable jurisprudence by acting on the joint application to the prejudice of the rights of PLDT and other interested parties.
The CA noted that the ARP and MRA were furnished to the NTC during its course of proceedings, thus, the issue raised by PLDT on the matter is already moot and academic.
On October 11, 2013, Globe and Bayantel filed before NTC a joint application for the approval of the debt-to-equity transaction between the two companies.
The case arose from the rehabilitation court approved Bayantel's ARP and MRA which allowed its creditors the option to convert their restructured debt in the total amount of US$114 million into additional equity.
As the principal creditor, Globe Telecom agreed to convert its exposure into 56.6 percent of Bayantel's outstanding shares.
Globe acquired 98.26 percent of Bayantel’s loans and 100 percent of Radio Communications of the Philippines Inc's (RCPI) liabilities. RCPI is a unit of Bayantel, both of which are owned by the Lopez Group.
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