Press Release
August 31, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today expressed concern that the Philippines may find itself being subjected to sanctions from the global community due to the governments defiance of the order of an international arbitration tribunal to turn over possession of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport-Terminal 3 to a private contractor that built the facility.

Pimentel was reacting to the stand of the Arroyo government that the government is not legally bound by the order of the Singapore-based International Chamber of Commerce-Arbitration Tribunal (ICC-AT) to cease occupation and give up possession of the NAIA-3 to its builder, the Philippine International Air Terminals Company (Piatco), until a valid writ of possession is issued by a Philippine court.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said that the government will not follow the order of the international arbitration panel unless it is upheld by Philippine courts.

Pimentel said the administrations response to the ICC-AT ruling is characteristic of its propensity for disregarding the countrys laws when it suits its interest.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo may ignore our domestic laws with impunity but her stand that her government is not bound by the ICC-Arbitration Tribunals ruling on NAIA-Terminal 3 may prove very costly as international economic and financial sanctions may follow, he said.

The minority leader said the government could not insist that it will only follow the order of a Philippine court and tell the ICC-AT to stop bullying the government after it acknowledged the authority of the arbitration tribunal and took part in its proceedings.

Mrs. Arroyo seems unable to understand that the world is fast becoming borderless and international pacts that we agree to bind us like domestic contracts and are enforceable locally, Pimentel said.

Piatco, a Filipino-German company, went to the ICC-AT after the government consistently failed to comply with the Supreme Courts order to pay just and fair compensation for the construction of the NAIA-Terminal 3.

The order was issued by the SC after it upheld the governments decision to void the build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract that was granted to Piatco by the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).

The government even repeatedly delayed the turnover of the P3 billion initial payment to Piatco and its German partner, Fraport, that was ordered in early 2005 by then Pasay City Regional Trial Court Judge Henrick Gingoyon following Malacañang s decision to expropriate the aviation facility by virtue of the states power of eminent domain.

Piatco, however, is questioning the P3 billion proffered payment for being inadequate, aside from seeking total compensation of not less than $425 million.

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