Court junks anti-dummy cases vs Megawide execs

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital | June 29,2022 - 06:15 PM
MCIA

Departure area of Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), Terminal 2 | CDN file photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – A trial court here in Cebu junked the criminal cases lodged against several executives of construction firm Megawide Corporation that accused them of violating the Anti-Dummy law over the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA). 

The court dismissed the charges pressed against four Megawide executives, namely Manuel Louie Ferrer (Executive Director for Infrastructure Development and Chief Corporate Affairs and Branding Officer), Jez Dela Cruz (VP-Corporate Finance and Planning of Megawide),  Oliver Tan (Director), and Edgar Saavedra (CEO and President). 

In a press release filed before the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), Megawide said the court ruled in favor of their Motion to Quash Information.

The company filed a Motion to Quash Information on March 24, days after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the law amending the Public Service Act (Republic Act No. 11659). 

The amended Public Service Act effectively allows foreign ownership in public utilities including seaports and airports. 

“Consequently, RA No. 11659 has completely eradicated any alleged violation of the Anti-Dummy Law of which the Megawide Respondents were wrongfully accused of. Furthermore, the Omnibus Order stated that RA No. 11659 applies to the Megawide Respondents due to the retroactive effect of laws favorable to the accused,” Megawide added. 

The Anti-Dummy Law, on the other hand, is a criminal statute that penalizes individuals who violate foreign equity restrictions and evade nationalization laws in regulated industries.

In 2021, the presiding court issued arrest warrants against executives of Megawide and the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) for allegedly violating the Anti-Dummy Law when they became co-operators of MCIA, the country’s second-busiest gateway. 

It stemmed from a complaint made by a certain lawyer, Larry Iguidez Jr., claiming that MCIA was ran by foreigners. 

GMCAC is a joint-venture between Megawide and India’s GMR Infrastructure. It was created to modernize and co-manage the MCIA.

/bmjo

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TAGS: anti-dummy law, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, GMCAC, MCIA, Megawide

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