MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) will conduct a preliminary investigation by January on the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation-Anti-Fraud Division (NBI-AFD) against five Filipinos including a high-ranking official of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) and 11 foreign nationals for violation of the Anti-Dummy Law.
“It has been assigned and may be heard starting January,” Prosecutor General Benedicto A. Malcontento told reporters on Monday.
Named in the complaint filed by NBI officer-in-charge (OIC)-director Eric B. Distor last Dec. 4 were MCIAA general manager and chief executive officer Steve Dicdican, and GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) officers Manuel Louie Ferrer, Edgar B. Saavedra, Oliver Y. Tan, and JS Dela Cruz.
Foreign national officers named in the NBI complaint were identified as Indian nationals Srivinas Bommidala, P. Sripathy, Vivek Singhai, Ravi Bhatnagar, Ravishankar Saravu, Sudarshan MD, Kumar Gaurav, Magesh Nambiar, and Rajesh Madan; Ghanaian national Andrew Acquah-Harrison, and Irish national Michael Lenane.
The case involves a complaint regarding the awarding of the operation and management of Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) to GMCAC under a 25-year concession for PHP14.4 billion.
The concession is for the expansion and operation of MCIA which consists of the construction of a new passenger terminal with all associated infrastructure facilities; rehabilitation and expansion of the existing terminal along with all associated infrastructure and facilities; installation of the required information technology and other equipment commensurate with the operations; and operation and maintenance of both passenger terminals during the concession period.
GMCAC is a consortium between Megawide Construction Corporation, a local company, and GMR Group a foreign infrastructure company.
In its complaint, the NBI said the subjects allegedly conspired, connived, colluded, schemed, and acted together to violate the 1987 Constitution and the Anti-Dummy Law.
It added that based on the evidence, the MCIA is operated, administered, and managed by non-Filipinos more particularly by an Irish, a Ghanaian, and several Indians who have profound control, enjoyment, and control over a Philippine public utility, with the knowledge and approval of the Filipino officers of MCIAA and GMCAC, among whom are Dicdican, Saavedra, Ferrer, Tan, and Cruz.
Pieces of evidence suggest that the foreign nationals were actually performing executive and managerial positions.
Charges for violation of Section 2-A of the Anti-Dummy Law were filed before the DOJ.
In addition, Dicdican was also charged before the Office of the Ombudsman for violations of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, being an official of a government entity. (PNA)