Piatco sents notice of eviction to T3 tenants

Airlines, concessionaires unfazed

October 26, 2010

by Eric B. Apolonio

THE consortium that built the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 is “evicting” all businesses operating in the facility.

The Quasha Ancheta Pea and Nolasco law firm, representing the Philippine International Air Terminal Co., said ownership of NAIA’s Terminal 3 “would only be vested to the government upon full payment of just compensation to Piatco,” citing a Supreme Court ruling.

An “eviction notice” that the law firm prepared has already been sent to the Gokongwei-owned Cebu Pacific.

Another carrier, AirPhil Express—a sister airline of Philippine Airlines—is also supposedly covered by the “eviction” since it relocated to Terminal 3 this year from the old domestic airport.

Cebu Pacific, which operates all its Metro Manila flight services from Terminal 3, started using the facility on July 22, 2008.

Small restaurants and shops inside the terminal including Jollibee, Ministop convenience store, and the Saint Cinnamon bakeshop are also being “evicted.”

“As you are aware, Piatco is the owner of NAIA Terminal 3 facilities. The writ of possession issued in 2006 did not transfer ownership of the facilities to the government,” the notice said.

Cebu Pacific had brushed off the “eviction,” telling Piatco lawyers to direct its concern to the Philippine government because its contract is with the Manila International Airport Authority.

For his part, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado told Manila Standard that “Piatco should direct its letters to the government and not to the concessionaires,” adding that there is an existing contract among the 30 or so concessionaires and the MIAA.

Piatco is a consortium composed of airport cargo handler Paircargo of the Cheng family and German airport developer Fraport AG.

It was awarded a build-operate-transfer contract for the construction and management of a new international passenger terminal in 1999.

In 2002, the Philippine government rescinded the BOT contract after it was found defective. The consortium sought arbitration from international courts to demand compensation.

The Washington-based International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes or ICSID dismissed Fraport’s complaint.

In August, the International Criminal Court in Singapore ruled in favor of the Philippine government in a separate arbitration case against Piatco. With the Singapore ruling, the government will no longer have to pay $1.1 billion to the consortium.

In the wake of these legal victories, the government announced that it would privatize Terminal 3’s operation and maintenance once all remaining legal obstacles have been resolved.

1 comment:

  1. HEHEHEHEHE, What's next? Might as well tear down the DAMN place...What an embarassment!