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Monday, November 29, 2021

Megawide Seeks Dismissal of Criminal Complaint, Says Officials Unable to Present Defense Before Arrest Warrants Are Served

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MANILA, Philippines – Megawide Construction Corp. Officials have asked a local court to dismiss the criminal case brought against them, saying they were not given due process in a complaint alleging anti-dummy law violations at the airport project. Cebu company.

The construction and engineering giant said in a stock exchange filing on Friday that the defendants filed a motion with the Regional Court of First Instance in the city of Lapu-Lapu, arguing that the complaint lacked probable cause.

The orders were issued Nov. 25 to officials from Megawide and subsidiary GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC).

GMCAC is the company’s venture with India’s GMR infrastructure that modernized and transformed Mactan Cebu International Airport into a world-class gateway after they were awarded the Public Private Partnership contract in 2014.

“Despite the timely filing of said general motion, the RTC proceeded with the issuance of the arrest warrants,” Megawide said in its presentation.

“We will respond diligently to this case in the appropriate forums and we will continue to comply with the judicial process,” he added.

Officials posted bail Friday afternoon, a Megawide spokesperson said.

The arrest warrant included the president and CEO of Megawide, Edgar Saavedra, the director of infrastructure development and corporate and brand affairs, Manuel Louie B. Ferrer, the director Oliver Y. Tan and Jez G. Dela Cruz, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Finance and Planning.

GMCAC Chief Executive Advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison, Srinivas Bommidala, P. Sripathy, Vivek Singhal, Ravi Bhatnagar, Ravishankar Saravu, Michael Lenane, Sudarshan MD aka Sudarshan, Madhav Doddathota, Kumar Gaurav, Magesh Nambiarne, were also named as respondents. aka Magesh Kanne and Rajesh Madan.

The Anti-Dummy Law is a criminal statute that penalizes people who violate foreign capital restrictions and evade nationalization laws in regulated industries.

The complaint was filed on September 3, 2020 by attorney Larry Iguidez Jr., who allegedly had foreigners operating GMAC.

Megawide revealed that its officials received a resolution from the Office of the Ombudsman on November 5 indicating that there was probable cause that the defendants “acted in conspiracy with each other, for violation of Section 3 (e) of the Law on the Republic No. 3019 or the Law of Corrupt Practices and Against Corruption “.

Megawide, which previously questioned the motives behind the complaint, said respondents were not allowed to present their defense.

“Before receiving the resolution, none of the private respondents obtained or received a subpoena or order from the Office of the Ombudsman ordering the presentation of their respective affidavits,” Megawide said in the stock exchange filing.

“As a result, private respondents were not given the opportunity to present their defenses and participate in the preliminary investigation,” the company added.

Respondents also filed a petition for review with the Justice Department “attacking the finding of probable cause.”

“Megawide, its directors and officers maintain that they exercise good corporate governance and adhere to all applicable laws, rules and regulations in all their dealings,” the company said.

In a separate statement, Megawide argued that the Anti-Dummy charges were baseless and attacks against the company increased, enraging anonymous entities after pursuing the $ 2 billion proposal to modernize its second airport project, Ninoy International Airport. Aquino (Naia) in Manila.

“This is the latest development in a long series of attempts to tear down Megawide’s reputation and credibility that, as it will be remembered, began with its bid for the rehabilitation of Naia,” the company said.

The Department of Transportation eventually ruled out modernizing Naia’s private sector, saying it would finance some of the improvements on its own.

“GMCAC transformed the Mactan-Cebu International Airport into the only internationally acclaimed and award-winning airport in the Philippines, and it has done so through strong compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, particularly as both are in the broad public domain. listed companies, ”Megawide said.

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