Osmena asks SC to disqualify Megawide-GMR from airport project

Posted at 04/05/14 4:51 PM

MANILA – Senator Serge Osmeña has filed a petition with the Supreme Court to disqualify Megawide-GMR from the Mactan-Cebu Airport project.

"I filed a petition on Thursday with the Supreme Court asking them for an injunction and to examine the conflict of interest issue," Osmeña said in an interview with ANC's Dateline Philippines on Saturday.

Osmeña said they filed the petition for an immediate raffle on Monday "so that they can decide on it".

On Friday, the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) awarded the P17.5 billion Mactan-Cebu airport project to Megawide and its Indian partner, GMR.

"There's no winning bidder. The winning bidder, you got to win on quality and you have to win on price. We always tend to make the mistake the one with the highest bid wins. Well, if he's disqualified, he can't have the winning bid," said Osmena.

He added, "This is why (we are) questioning the process that the DOTC undertook because they did not exercise due diligence that is required in projects like this."

The senator said they are also prepared to pursue the case however the high court decides.

"If the Supreme Court does not issue an injunction, then we would have to examine what our options are. Right now, we are banking on injunction being issued by the Supreme Court, at least while the Supreme Court is considering the merits of the case," he said.

DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya stressed that the project went through proper bidding and that all requirements were met.

"There are very strict parameters and requirements. All bidders are pre-qualified. The winning bidder went through financial evaluation, likewise through a post qualification. Everything was done according to policy," he said.

The DOTC expects groundwork on the Mactan-Cebu airport project to begin within the year.

"After the award, their obligation would be to deposit the concession bid they gave. Within 20 days, we should receive P14.4 billion, assuming there would be no judicial intervention. There will be bank closure afterwhich. So, hopefully, groundwork within the year. If the court stops the project, issues a TRO, we will abide by the court decision," said Abaya.

Abaya noted that phase one, which involves the rehabilitation and extension or the existing terminal and construction of a domestic terminal, could be completed within the term of President Aquino.

Phase two will involve the construction of additional facilities, including a runway.