Court of Appeals approves consolidation of Globe, PLDT cases vs PCC; Action of anti-trust body implies "selective justice"
"The similarity of the issues and factual antecedents presented in petitions filed separately by Globe and PLDT is immediately apparent."
Throwing out the opposition of the Philippine Competition Commission, the Court of Appeals (CA) approved Globe Telecom’s urgent motion to consolidate its petition with PLDT.
Globe General Counsel Froilan Castelo said that the CA decision is contrary to PCC’s claim of forum shopping. “Globe has followed the rules, and that motion to consolidate is just in accordance with Rule 31 of the Rules of Court. This is only but fitting as all Globe's actions on this matter are well within the bounds of the rules, especially that of PCC's Memorandum Circular 2016-002. We are disappointed that it is the PCC itself that does not follow the rules - the Rules of Court when it opposes the consolidation of the cases; and their own rules, MC 2016-002.” Castelo said.
The Court of Appeals 6th Division approved the consolidation of the Globe case in its order dated July 28, 2016, being "consistent with Section 1, Rule 31 of the Rules of Court". Both Globe and PLDT have filed separate petitions to oblige PCC to declare the transaction as "deemed approved" under their MC 2016-002. In its urgent motion for immediate consolidation, Globe pointed out that “the similarity of the issues and factual antecedents presented in petitions filed separately by Globe and PLDT is immediately apparent.”
Castelo added that the PCC clearly contradicted its own rules by claiming the two telcos failed to comply with its own rules. “We urge the PCC to uphold the law which is also their mandate. For business, their inconsistent application of the law is dangerous,” Castelo said.
Disputing the public statements of the PCC that the telcos have been uncooperative, Globe said that it cooperated fully with the government body, providing them with more than the necessary information and documents over and above the notice required. "These submissions were done in good faith and went beyond what the PCC actually requires by their own rules. In addition to these, Globe even sought a dialogue with the PCC to explain its position and answer any concern the PCC may have regarding the transaction", Castelo emphasized.