Philippines: TXTPower hits NTC ruling, mulls raps commissioners

Jun. 14, 2007

MANILA — TXTPower today denounced the decision of the National
Telecommunications Commission dismissing the complaint against Globe
Telecom over the company’s 100 percent increase in unlimited texting
rates in February this year.

Aside from filing an appeal, TXTPower is studying possible legal moves
against commission officials.

“The NTC dismissed our complaint on highly questionable grounds, by
obscenely parotting Globe Telecom’s dangerous claim that we do not
have a legal personality to file a complaint in the first place,” said
TXTPower convenor Anthony Ian Cruz.

“Any citizen or group of citizens have a right to redress of
grievances and should be heard by government, especially agencies such
as the NTC,” said Cruz.

“This horrible idea adopted by the NTC is borrowed entirely from
Globe’s motion to dismiss our complaint,” Cruz stressed. “We already
demolished this false reasoning in our reply filed by our lawyer.”

The NTC approved in January Globe’s price hike that saw unlimited
texting rates go up from P50 for five days to P80 for four days. No
hearing was conducted to solicit public sentiments on the matter.

“We will appeal this decision not only because it dismissed our
complaint on questionable grounds,” said Cruz. “More importantly, it
fails to explain why the NTC approved the 100 percent price increase
and why the NTC issued but did not enforce two orders directing Globe
to suspend the price hike.”

“In a sense, the NTC did a Pontius Pilate with its decision,” said
Cruz. “By unjustly dismissing the complaint, the NTC further beats up
TXTPower and consumers while letting Globe and the agency itself off
the hook.”

Cruz said that charges may also be brought against NTC officials over
the fiasco, including the NTC’s refusal to implement a written order
from the Commissioner and a cease-and-desist order issued by the
Commission en banc in connection with the TXTPower complaint.

“The NTC obviously allowed Globe to ignore and violate its order and
thus caused irreparable injury against consumers. By not enforcing its
orders, the NTC allowed Globe to continue with its price hike,” said
Cruz. “This is an issue which the Ombudsman should check.”

“Sa totoo lang, ang NTC ang nagmukhang tanga sa isyung ito. Para lang
silang laruan ng Globe,” said Cruz. ###

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