Wednesday 26 February
Nov 9, 2018 @ 11:51

Rio clueless why Duterte is replacing him with Honasan in the middle of 3rd telco bidding mess


Communication and Information Technology Secretary Eliseo Rio is scratching his head on why President Rodrigo Duterte decided to replace him with Senator Gringo Honasan while he is still sorting out the messy bidding for the new major player in telecommunications.

Rio said he saw ?no urgency? in Honasan, whose second and final term would end in July 2019, taking over his job.

Honasan has accepted the offer to become the next secretary of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Friday or just two days after the third telco bidding.

Honasan confirmed his appointment in a text message to reporters: ?For a better Philippines, a better government, for the Filipino People, and for a better future for our most precious Children; I have decided to accept the offer of the President to help lead the DICT.”

Honasan expects t take over after the Commission on Appointments (CA) gives him the green light which was just a formality.

But Rio believed that he should finish the job before handing over the pilot?s seat to Honasan.

?I serve at the pleasure of the President. But I only hope that I will be given a few more weeks to finalize the entry of a third telco player which you know we really world hard for,? said Rio in a text message to Inquirer?s Miguel Camus.

?I would not understand why I have to be changed in midstream of a very important activity that would finally bring a significant improvement in telecommunication industry,? he added.

The bidding for the third telco is under a heavy cloud of doubt after Duterte crony Dennis Uy and his foreign partner, China Telecom, were declared winners only because the other bidders were disqualified or abandoned their bids due to the complicated and opaque requirements set by Rio and the National Telecommunications Commission.

Disqualified bidder, former Ilocos Norte Governor Chavit Singson, is expected to challenge the victory of Uy-ChinaTel consortium claiming that the Duterte crony?s franchise partner, Mislatel, had a prior agreement with him.

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