CA denies NTC’s bid to lift TRO on telcos’ P7-B refund

The Court of Appeals (CA) has dismissed the petition of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) seeking to lift a TRO on the NTC’s order for telecommunications firms to refund subscribers for alleged excessive short message service (SMS) charges.

court of appeals

In a Nov. 4, 2014 ruling written by CA associate justice Maria Elisa Sempio-Dy, the court’s Special 17th Division said “the NTC’s prayer for the lifting/dissolution of the TRO” was “premature.”

Concurring with the ruling were associate justices Romeo Barza and Rodil Zalameda.

The CA earlier directed the NTC to stop from enforcing its ruling issued on Nov. 20, 2012 and resolution dated May 7, 2012, which ruled that the telcos violated an NTC order them to reduce their interconnection charge to P0.15 per off-net SMS from P0.35.

According to the NTC, the amount of refund already reached P7 billion when the order became effective.

Globe Telecom obtained last Sept. 3 a TRO from the CA prohibiting the NTC from imposing its order. Smart Communications and its sister firm Digitel have secured the same TRO. — PNA