This kind of “threat” worked in the past: Mighty’s P40-billion tax settlement; Philippine Airlines’ settling a P6-billion obligation to the government; the Mile Long property taken over by government; and the rehabilitation of Boracay, to name a few cases that did not need to undergo lengthy and expensive court litigation – and I would say has therefore served its purpose, rightly or wrongly.
Whether the government takeover of telcos is justified and compliant with the provisions of the Constitution, given the circumstances, is another matter altogether, however.
Having said that, telcos should treat the President’s pronouncement as a wake-up call to improve their services to the public, as one thing in the President’s statement on the issue is certain and true: that our country’s telecommunications services pale in comparison with our neighbors and with other jurisdictions in terms of speed and efficiency.
But what the President failed to issue is a similar warning to some local government unit executives who extort money from the telcos in exchange for permits and licenses as well as “protection” from delays in the construction of such facilities, especially in areas where the presence of armed groups like the CPP-NPA is strong.
“Trabaho ng DILG yan mag-counter-intelligence sila roon. Kung kinakailangan, magsagawa sila ng entrapment operation.” – Sen. Lacson on the reported ‘racket’ of some barangay officials asking hefty sums for non-residents’ IDs in Boracay
In an interview on DZBB, Sen. Lacson answered questions on:
– challenges facing new PNP chief Albayalde and new BuCor chief dela Rosa
– criticisms vs anti-drug war from the US State Department and EU Parliament
– claims of ‘utang na loob’ and the Blue Ribbon report
– ‘extortion’ racket at Boracay
– update on National ID bill