PNS — GERMANY’S ambassador on Tuesday urged the government to revive negotiations with the German contractor that built the Ninoy Aquino International Airport’s Terminal 3 to settle a longstanding ownership dispute.
In a statement, German Ambassador Christian-Ludwig Weber-Lortsch said the court proceedings over the terminal’s ownership could take years, “leaving the infrastructure project shelved by lawyers instead of being finished by engineers.”
The ambassador called for negotiations “to facilitate a legal, fair and timely solution [to] an inherited problem.”
Earlier, an ad hoc committee of the Washington-based International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes overturned an August 2007 decision that dismissed a $425-million claim over Terminal 3 filed by Germany’s Fraport AG.
Fraport filed the case in 2003 after the Philippines canceled the contract awarded to Philippine International Airport Terminal Co., in which Fraport had a 30 percent stake.
Solicitor General Anselmo Cadiz said Tuesday the Center for Settlement’s decision did not uphold Piatco’s claim or find the Philippines liable for any compensation to the contractor.
“The decision merely provides Fraport the opportunity to commence a new arbitration and to present its claims again,” the chief state lawyer said.
Likewise, the Philippine government is entitled to present the evidence against Fraport again.”
An ad hoc committee of the Center for Settlement on Dec. 23 said Fraport had not been given the opportunity to comment on the Philippine Justice Department’s charges that it had violated the Anti-Dummy Law in its dealings with Piatco.
“With the annulment decision, the parties are brought to the situation prior to the filing of Fraport’s request for arbitration,” Cadiz said.
The Naia Terminal 3 has been the subject of a string of civil and criminal investigations since 2002 due to allegations that Piatco and Fraport violated Philippine laws.