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Philippines calls for inquiry into Nextel buyout

MANILA, The Philippines—The Philippines’ House committee on transportation and communications through its chairman Representative Jacinto Paras favors an inquiry into the planned Nextel buyout by a private consortium allegedly led by the Marsman/Drysdale group.

Paras said the Philippine Congress will question the planned buyout of Nextel on constitutional grounds.

He added that he had on several occasions called the attention of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to the operation of Nextel because there were complaints on its franchise and license to operate.

Based on the record, Nextel’s license said it will operate as “trunked radio,” however, it also provides cell-phone services, which it is not licensed to do. By allowing Nextel to operate cell-phone services, Paras noted that NTC may be liable for neglect or deliberate dereliction of duty.

“Congress’ inquiry will also look into NTC’s possible connivance with Nextel, since the NTC allowed Nextel to operate cell services for more than three years, thereby placing public interest and welfare in danger,” Paras said.


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