Pay up P16B to Piatco pronto – Trillanes

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SEN. Antonio Trillanes 4th on Friday welcomed that decision of the Court of Appeals to award just compensation to Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco) the consortium that built the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 as he called on the government expedite the implementation of the court order.

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According to Trillanes, it would be prudent for the government to implement the Court order right away and start making NAIA 3 fully operational and provide more efficient airport services, to boost foreign investor confidence in the country.

“This long-drawn legal tussle for the control and ownership of NAIA 3, spanning for more than a decade, has cost our government more than P2.3 billion for legal expenses alone, and has led to our failure to optimize the airport’s facilities,” said Trillanes.

The appellate Court in its ruling has ordered the Philippine government to pay Piatco $371.4 million or about P16.7 billion in just compensation for the construction of the NAIA terminal 3.

Just compensation refers to the full value to be paid for property taken by the government.

Based on the ruling penned by Justices Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Rebecca de Guia—Salvador, Samuel Gaerlan, the government owes Piatco $371, 426,688.24 or about P16.2 billion as of July 31 for building NAIA 3.

The Philippine government under then President Gloria Arroyo has cancelled Piatco’s NAIA 3 contract in 2002 saying that certain provisions on the contract are disadvantageous to the government. The move of the Arroyo administration was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2003.

The following year the government filed with the Pasay regional trial court a case to expropriate NAIA 3. The government was able to get a writ of possession from the Pasay court but also ordered the state to pay Piatco.

The government on 2006 paid the consortium P3-billion as down payment while the court is determining that amount of compensation and for the government to start the NAIA 3 operation.

Several cases were filed and reached the Supreme Court which remanded the case to the lower court to determine just compensation for Piatco.

“As a matter of principle, the government should pay any service rendered to it. In this case, the building of an international airport which was constructed more than a decade ago,” Trillanes added.

The NAIA Terminal 3 was awarded to Piatco and its German partner Fraport in 1997. It started partial operation in July 2008.

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