Globe Telecom lambasted Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) to concentrate on addressing the needs of the typhoon victims in the Visayas and avoid divisive discussions on its opposition to the Bayan Telecommunications, Inc. (Bayantel) restructuring and rehabilitation program with Globe at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
“We at Globe have been working hard and against all odds in bringing back our service to the typhoon-stricken areas of the Visayas as well as helping the victims with their other needs,” Atty. Froilan Castelo, General Legal Counsel of Globe Telecom said when queried on PLDT’s latest move against Bayantel and Globe at the NTC, “and we’d rather not engage in any hostilities initiated by PLDT at a time when our brothers and sisters are in grief.”
Castelo said that he was disturbed upon learning of the PLDT opposition moves because all along, what Globe was doing was to help Bayantel get back on its feet, “and allow Bayantel to continue its operations, ensure the continued employment of 1,100 workers – thereby empowering Bayantel to contribute to the growth of the telecommunications market and industry.” Bayantel is currently servicing about 500,000 customers nationwide.
PLDT recently filed at the NTC its opposition to the Joint Application by Bayantel and Globe for the approval of the conversion of Bayantel’s debt (substantially held by Globe) to equity per the Pasig RTC-directed Master Restructuring Agreement.
PLDT opined that the Joint Application was “anti-competitive, anti-consumer and (of) unfair trade practice.”
Castelo said that “everything’s legal and above board – firstly, this is a valid restructuring and rehabilitation program promulgated by the Pasig RTC Branch 158; secondly, the Office of the Solicitor General has not posed any objections; thirdly, the NTC approved in October, last year, the co-use by Globe of Bayantel’s frequencies in the course of Bayantel’s mandated rehabilitation by the Pasig RTC.”
“This is unlike PLDT’s monopolistic acquisition of Digitel-Sun since Digitel-Sun was a very healthy competitor that was eating, in fact, into PLDT-Smart’s market share,” added lawyer Castelo, “this time, there was broadly-based recognition of the need to rehabilitate Bayantel – foremost among which were its major creditors like Goldman Sachs Group, Clearwater Capital Partners, Avenue Capital and the U.K.-based Spinnaker Capital.
Castelo said that Globe will study the opposition filed by the PLDT at the NTC but “because of the foregoing, we can say this early that the RTC MRA does not propose an anti – competitive, anti-consumer nor an unfair trade practice.”