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Disqualification threatens 3rd telco Mislatel Consortium

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Tuesday, 27 November 2018 05:14 PM


PASAY CITY, Philippines – Losing bidders PT&T and Sear Telecom have brought their complaints to the Senate against the country’s winning third telco Mislatel Consortium.

Sear Telecom’s chairman and president Chavit Singson argued that Mislatel still has an existing contract with them which bars Mislatel from entering into another deal.

Sear Telecom together with PT&T wants the government to disqualify Chinese-owned Mislatel from being awarded as the country’s third telco.

“From the beginning disqualified ang Mislatel dahil may kontrata sa amin ang Mislatel,” Sison said during Tuesday’s (November 27) inquiry on the matter.

On the other hand, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said the process of awarding the contract to the winning bidder will continue unless the court issues its decision on the complaints of the losing bidder.

However still, the agency admitted that the legal battle will surely affect or delay the entry of the third telco.

Nevertheless, DICT Undersecretary Eliseo Rio said they will still “abide by the decision of the court.”

On issues of security, Senator Grace Poe questioned National Security Adviser Secretary Hermogenes Esperon on the possible implication to national security of the reported “hijacking” incident of China Telcom on internet traffic that affects even powerful countries.

The incident is up for investigation by the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency (NICA).

“We have read about that report. It is subject to validation on our part. We have the 90 days period to do that. The winning provisional NMP will have to be undergo a background check by the National Intelligence and Coordinating Agency,” said Esperon.

The DICT maintained that they see no threat to national security with the entry of the Chinese telecom firm in the country.

“So the threat of Chinese product, Chinese people, really operating our telecommunication are really here,” Rio said,

For its part, Mislatel assured that the rights of the Filipino people will be protected.

“We are a Filipino company. We will not allow national interest and national security to be undermined,” assured Atty. Adel Tamano, Mislatel’s spokesperson.

But Poe insisted that a thorough scrutiny on the background of the third telco should still be conducted.

“Pero iba pa rin siyempre yung mismong korporasyon ang pagmamayari ay taga ibang bansa,” said the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Public Services, Senator Poe.

Meanwhile, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV requested the presence of Mislatel’s owner Dennis Uy in the next inquiry.

Uy was a no-show in today’s Senate inquiry. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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Senate leadership supports call for Duterte to veto ‘pork insertions’

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Wednesday, 6 February 2019 05:52 PM

FILE PHOTO: Senate President Vicente Sotto III

PASAY CITY, Philippines – Lawmakers are racing against time to finally pass the P3.7 trillion proposed 2019 national budget as they have until Friday (February 8) to extend session and to finalize the provisions of the bill.

House Committee on Appropriations Chair Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. said the proposed budget may possibly reach the table of President Rodrigo Duterte for signature by next week.

The senators will hold a caucus on Wednesday night to discuss the outcome of discussions at the ongoing bicameral conference committee especially on matters involving the alleged ‘pork insertions’ in the proposed budget.

Once everything is clear, the bill will likely proceed to ratification.

For his part, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said he is likely to support the position of Senator Panfilo Lacson who is calling on President Duterte to veto the alleged ‘pork insertions’ in the bill, if necessary.

“Kung nararapat at kung talagang maliwanag na pork, bakit hindi? Dapat i-veto,” Sotto said.

Senator Sonny Angara, meanwhile, said the passage of the proposed national budget remains their top priority at this point.

Angara argued that unless the proposed budget is passed, the government will have no choice but to operate with a reenacted budget until July.

“Walang defined item for 2019. Maybe if there are savings in agencies, then they will use that, or there are funds na, unprogrammed funds, hindi natuloy ang project, doon nila kukunin ang pondo,” Angara explained.

Under a reenacted budget, all pending projects of the government for this year will definitely be affected.

Among them is the preparation for the upcoming 2019 midterm elections, specifically the lack of funds for honoraria for teachers who will serve as election officers in the polls. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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GIS EXCLUSIVE: Atty. Larry Gadon wants lower energy rate, free books for students if elected

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, 4 February 2019 03:49 PM

Atty. Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Gadon on the set of Get it Straight with Daniel Razon

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Senatorial candidate Atty. Lorenzo ‘Larry’ Gadon wants to focus on lowering the price of electricity if elected to the Senate in the 2019 midterm polls.

On the program Get It Straight will Daniel Razon, Gadon said he wants the government to take control of the country’s energy industry to prevent the private sector from manipulating it.

“Dapat magtayo muli ang estado, ang ating bansa, ng mga facility o ng mga sources ng energy ng direktang pamamahalaan ng gobyerno,” he said.

Gadon also intends to introduce reforms in the country’s education system.

He argued that free tuition is not enough and that the government should provide the books and manuals to students free of charge.

The printing, Gadon said, should also be managed by the government instead of private publishing companies.

“Magkano lang naman siguro ang mga books na ipiprint mo dyan. Baka hindi pa umabot ng mga P2B iyan para iprint mo yung libreng libro para sa mga estudyante,” he said.

Gadon supports the administration in various issues such as the extension of martial law in Mindanao, the revival of death penalty, and the proposed shift to federal form of government.

The lawyer is confident that he will win in the upcoming election.

Gadon has been vocal about his opposition to election surveys, saying such polls are being used to condition the minds of the public that only popular candidates can be elected.

“Iba kasi ang lumapit sa iyo at nagsasabing kusa na iboboto ka namin kesa ikaw ang pupunta sa tao magpapgawa ka ng rally at tapos sasabihin nyo na iboto nyo ko. Hindi. Ito baligtad. Sila yung lumalapit para sabihin nila sa akin na iboboto nila ako,” Gadon said.

Gadon made it to country’s headlines when he spearheaded the ouster of former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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GIS EXCLUSIVE: Atty. Erin Tañada to espouse workers’ pay, lower power rate if elected

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, 30 January 2019 02:07 PM

Former House Deputy Speaker Atty. Lorenzo ‘Erin’ Tañada III

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Former House Deputy Speaker Atty. Lorenzo ‘Erin’ Tañada III is eyeing measures that will ease the burden of common Filipinos if re-elected to public office.

On the program Get It Straight with Daniel Razon, the former lawmaker said he wants to push for minimum wage hike for workers in different regions across the country.

He argued that there is actually minimal or no difference between the price of basic commodities in the rural areas and in the metropolis.

In fact in most cases, the prices of basic goods are higher in the countryside than in the national capital region (NCR) because of higher transportation cost.

According to Tañada, it is only right for regional workers to enjoy the same benefits accorded to NCR workers.

In such situation, he added, urban migration and overpopulation in Metro Manila would also be prevented.

“Makatarungan pa ba ang paggamit ng regional wage boards sa pagtatakda ng minimum wage? Panahon nang pagusapan iyan,” the scion of the famous Tañada clan said.

Tañada is also eyeing a review of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of. 2001 also known as EPIRA Law.

He claims that the measure failed to lower electricity rate in the past 18 years since its enactment.

Instead, he said, businessmen will be more attracted to invest in the country with lower power rates.

“Sa iba’t ibang probinsya, mas mahal ang singil ng kuryente kaysa sa Metro Manila,” he said.

Tañada’s first attempt at a seat in Senate was in 2013, but he was booted out of the Liberal Party’s senatorial slate because then President Benigno Aquino III did not favor his Freedom of Information Bill.

“Na-short list naman ako. Kung titingnan natin mayroon siyang hindi nagustuhan sa aking pag-advocate ng isang panukalang batas,” he explained referring to former President Noynoy Aquino.

Tañada said he was offered to change camp and join then Vice President Jejomar Binay’s line up but he declined.

Tañada has been vocal of his commitment to the Liberal Party as he vows to continue the legacy of his father, the esteemed statesman former senator Wigberto “Bobby” Tañada.

A veteran human rights lawyer. Erin is known for his landmark legislations such as the creation of the Human Rights Claims Board for the victims of Martial law and other important bills such as the Freedom of Expression and the utilization of the Coco Levy Fund. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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