Pay Piatco now, Aquino urged


Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—An ally of President Benigno Aquino III has called on the administration to immediately comply with the Court of Appeals ruling ordering the government to pay the builder of Ninoy Aquino Intenational Airport Terminal 3 (Naia 3) P16.2 billion ($371,426,668) as “just compensation” for the expropriation of the airport terminal.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, the chair of the Senate committee on national defense and security, said the protracted legal dispute over the control and ownership of Naia 3 has already cost the country too much in terms of time and resources.

“This long drawn out legal tussle for the control and ownership of Naia 3, spanning 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 Arroyo administration as early as 2004 filed a case for the expropriation of Naia 3 before the Pasay City Regional Trial Court.

The cases reached the Supreme Court, which then remanded the case to the lower court to determine just compensation for the Naia 3 contractor, Philippine International Air Terminals Co. Inc. (Piatco).

“It would be prudent for the government to implement the court order right away. It would pave the way for making Naia 3 fully operational and provide more efficient airport services, as well as boost foreign investor confidence in the country,” Trillanes said.

The appeals court ruling penned by Justices Apolinario Bruselas Jr., Rebecca de Guia-Salvador and Samuel Gaerlan pegged just compensation for Piatco at $371, 426,688.24 or about P16.2 billion as of July 31.

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

The trial court earlier ordered the government to pay Piatco a much lower P7.6 billion, less the P3 billion down payment that the government has given the contractor.  The trial court also didn’t award any interest as part of the compensation for the airport builder.

The Court of Appeals, in its ruling dated Aug. 7, changed the trial court’s ruling by fixing the just compensation to Piatco at $300,206,639 minus the $59,483,604 paid in September 2006 for a net sum of $240,768,035.

The appellate court also ruled that upon the finality of the judgement, interest on the sum due by then shall be 12 percent until fully paid.

In computing the compensation for Piatco, the appellate court said just compensation was “the full and fair equivalent of the property sought to be expropriated,” adding that “the measure is not the taker’s gain but the owner’s loss.”

“To arrive at just compensation, we simply put in the figure determined as replacement cost, which is $300,206,693 and factored in law and equity,” the appellate court said.

“Law and equity, however, dictate that interest should be imposed on the amount due Piatco,” it added.

The appellate court said that it would be unfair to withhold the collection of interest since the government has been “enjoying the income or fruits from the operation of the structure it has expropriated.”

Related Story:

Pay Piatco P16B, court orders gov’t

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  • maekaren68

    May ordered narin pala ang trial court na Bayaran na agad ng goverment ang Piatco. We should respect and follow it. At sa isang Banda naman eh napaka habang Panahon narin na napakinabangan dapat Lang na mabayaran na.

  • John atm

    Babayaran ang PIATCO??? Bakitttt??? Ang dami dami pang basura na dapat pabanguhin! Uunahin pa ba ang airport na iyan? Cant believe this! Sugod Lito Lapid, Sotto. Dapat unahin ang importateng project nyo sirs.

  • Jhenii

    For what reason kaya bakit hindi nabayaran to? At bakit pinatagal pa ito? President noynoy, ganito po ba ang sabi mong landas na tatahakin natin?

    • ThudOthwacker

      This is a build operate and transfer(BOT).

  • Lach

    Ang daminating binibili, pero hindi pa pala bayad to? Dapat natin tong bayaran. Tayo makikinabang nito.

  • DayVee

    Nagrender ng service ang Piatco. I guess they deserve to get paid for their work. And now we should focus on how to maintain our airports.

  • linobog

    Trillanes please use your coconut shell.

    • sean_javier

      Coconut shell you’re referring to has been actually used to prevent and end “further delays to the rehabilitation of the terminal were caused by years of litigation between the Philippine government and Piatco and the latter’s German shareholder Fraport AG.” In fact, today’s headline reads, “The government has finally sealed a P1.9-billion deal with Japanese contractor Takenaka Corp. to make Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 fully operational next year but the rehabilitation itself could take longer than initially expected.”

  • opinyonlangpo

    Unbelievable. Ten years job completed but not paid. Instead, the contractor has to go through rigorous court proceedings to get its money. Not good doing business with the Philippine government. They are good only in shady business dealings.

  • Ako_Hiking

    What is all this? Many new and different issues pop up again and again for Aquino. Yes this has been long drawn out but isn’t everything relating to the Administration always delayed and long drawn out except when it comes to Aquino and his attacks against political enemies?

  • DGuardian

    The Philippine government should pay Piatco.

  • Alexis

    Poor Piatco, they’d been doing their job but receive nothing from the goverment. Government transaction here in the Philippines is quite stressful and a waste of time.

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