A COMPLAINT filed the other day with the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission asked to have famous musician Ramon “RJ” Jacinto investigated for conflict of interest in pushing for a duopoly in the cell tower construction business in the country.
The complainant, Filipino League of Advocates for Good Governance was also asking the PACC to look into Jacinto’s past transactions with both private and state banks while working with the government which, according to FLAG founder Edwin Cordevilla, might form part of business malpractices.
Jacinto, who is presently acting as presidential adviser on information technology, used to work with the Ramos government between 1992 and 1998 as presidential adviser on flagship projects.
Cordevilla was referring to Land Bank’s case filed against Jacinto eight years ago over checks that bounced amounting to more than P400 million.
Another controversial business transaction which Jacinto has reportedly entered into was the multi-billion peso purchase deal of a Philippine National Bank prime lot in Makati City.
According to FLAG’s complaint, the acquisition deal with PNB had gone sour and a civil case was filed against Jacinto which ended up in a Supreme Court decision in 2010 ordering him to return the real property to the bank.
In its complaint, the FLAG also said Jacinto’s doupoly proposal for cell tower companies runs counter to the very core of President Duterte’s program against monopoly or duopoly in the telecommunications industry.
“While Duterte’s IT bright boys are hell-bent on its move to break the telcos duopoly in the country, here comes Jacinto’s bid to create a duopoly in the tower construction business,” said Cordevilla.
“And Jacinto is pushing hard for his duopoly plan unmindful of its legal and moral ramificarions,” stressed the FLAG leader.
Cordevilla further said Jacinto’s proposal runs counter to the part of Republic Act 10667, also known as the Philippine Competition Act and violates Section 14 of RA 10667, which states that “Agreement which has the object or effect of substantially preventing, restricting or lessening competition shall (also) be prohibited,”
“In light of that public knowledge and for aggressively pushing duopoly in towercos, Usec. Jacinto is also in direct violation of RA 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Section 3 (g, h and i).”
He added that Jacinto’s duopoly proposal is in violation of congressional enactments which vested in telcos’ franchises the rights to build, operate and maintain their own cell towers.