Playing with fire! Dennis Uy uses Mislatel for 3rd telco bid despite firm’s contract with Chavit Singson-TierOne
Davaoeño businessman Dennis Uy wants his company, Udenna Corporation, to become the third telecommunications company in the country so bad, he partnered with a telco which already has an existing agreement with another company to qualify for bidding.
In an act of desperation, Uy joined forces with Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company Inc. (Mislatel) for the race to become the third telco player. He even named the consortium formed for the bidding after the little known telco.
What was lost in the hype of coverage over the third telco’s selection was the illegal means by which Uy partnered with Mislatel.
Documents obtained by Bilyonaryo shows Mislatel has an exclusive agreement with DigiPhil, a subsidiary of TierOne Communications International Inc.
TierOne partnered with business group of former Ilocos Norte governor Luis “Chavit” Singson to form Sear Telecom for the bidding of the third telco rights. However, the consortium was disqualified at the last minute due to its failure to pay a P700-million participation security, which was a requirement for the bidding.
On May 30, 2018, Mislatel, represented by its chairman, Danilo Cortez, and president, Nicanor Escalante, signed an exclusive agreement with DigiPhil in preparation for the selection of the third telco.
Under the agreement, Mislatel “warrants and represents that Digiphil and/or Digiphil’s nominated partner/s or business associate/s will be Mislatel’s sole and exclusive partner in the utilization of such frequency/ies, permits, licenses or authorizations that may be approved through the application/s or petition/s mentioned herein…”
The telco also granted Digiphil the right of first refusal in case another party is interested to purchase its equity stakes.
Digiphil issued a check worth P10 million to Mislatel on the same day the agreement was signed.
Mislatel was granted a 25-year congressional franchise in 1998.
In the days leading to the third telco’s selection, DigiPhil got wind of Uy’s under the table efforts to partner with Mislatel. The company’s co-chairman, Jonathan Bentley-Stevens, wrote the National Telecommunications Company on October 12 to inform it of Digiphil’s exclusive agreement with Mislatel.
Bilyonaryo’s source said Singson’s acquisition of Sear Telecom’s franchise was a last minute effort to remain in the race since Mislatel suddenly became uncooperative before the bidding.
Despite Digiphil’s letter, NTC declared Mislatel Consortium as the provisional third telco player.