ICSID did not say pay Fraport

By Tetch Torres

January 5, 2011

MANILA, Philippines— Solicitor General Anselmo Cadiz on Tuesday said the decision of an international arbitration body on the construction and operation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 was based on a procedural ground and did not say that the Philippine government should compensate Fraport AG Frankfurt Worldwide Services.

Cadiz said that the ad hoc committee’s decision did not say that Philippine government should compensate Fraport.

“Rather the decision merely provides Fraport the opportunity to commence a new arbitration and to present its claims again. Likewise, the Philippine government is entitled to present the evidence against Fraport again,” the chief state lawyer said.

An ad hoc committee of the US-based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) annulled on December 23 the ICSID Award of August 2007 based on the Committee’s conclusion that the ICSID Tribunal failed to provide enough opportunity for the parties to comment upon the evidentiary record before the DOJ Special Prosecutor in the Anti-Dummy Law criminal proceedings.

Fraport is the primary investor in PIATCO, which bagged the contract to construct and operate the NAIA Terminal 3.

“With the annulment decision, the parties are brought to the situation prior to the filing of Fraport’s request for arbitration,” Cadiz clarified.

Since 2002, the construction and operation of the NAIA Terminal 3 have been the subject of a string of civil and criminal investigations due to allegations of violations of Philippine laws by PIATCO and Fraport.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee issued a report in December 2002 concluding that the Terminal 3 concession was void because PIATCO violated the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Law and attempted to buy government approvals through a consultant.

Then, in 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that the Terminal 3 concessions were null and void ab initio due to PIATCO’s violations of the Constitution, BOT Law, banking laws and public policy.

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