Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said that approving the bill that allows foreigners to fully control and own telecommunications companies would mean the Congress is usurping the Supreme Court’s authority.
Carpio’s statement came after stressing the unconstitutionality and national security threat that the proposed House Bill No. 78 or New Public Service Act might bring if Congress passes it into law.
He explained that the passage of the bill allows Congress to take away the power of the Supreme Court to interpret and define words and phrases in the Constitution.
The Constitution defines telecommunications as a public utility, which the Congress wants to redefine as a non-public utility by passing the bill.
This goes the same for the entry of DITO Telecommunity, in which the former magistrate pointed out a threat to national security.
He cited that Chinese law mandates all Chinese companies and citizens to “disclose any information required by the intelligence service,” in which the third telco player qualifies being 40%-owned by Beijing-run China Telecom.
Earlier, Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) announced that it had granted provisional certificates to 23 tower companies, three of them are owned by state-run Chinese companies.
The presence of Chinese companies and the possible approval of the proposed bill might allow China’s gradual dominance in the Philippine telecommunications industry.