Industry

Megawide Hits Back at 'Baseless Allegations:' 'We Will Answer Them in the Proper Fora'

Engineering and construction company insists everything is above board.
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Listed Megawide Construction Corp was put on the defensive on Wednesday (December 2), after reports surfaced that it was being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation and facing charges related to violations of the Anti-Dummy Law. 

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the company said it was being threatened by “malicious attempts to bring down its reputation and credibility.”

“These bitter efforts are attempting to further deny the Duterte Administration and the Filipino people a significant step towards national economic recovery,” the company said.

Although Megawide did not directly mention the specific allegations, news reports said that the NBI’s Anti-Fraud Division has uncovered evidence against Megawide and its foreign partner GMR of India related to its joint venture corporation that designed and built the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA). That joint venture—the GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC)—was awarded a franchise to operate the MCIA for 25 years.

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However, the news report said that the company violated foreign equity restrictions with the deal according to the NBI, which has recommended filing of charges against officials of the company, including MCIA Authority GM Steve Dicdican, Megawide chairman Edgar Saavedra, managing director for transport Louie Ferrer, and several others.

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But Megawide flatly denied the allegations and called them “baseless.” 

“As widely-held, publicly listed companies, Megawide and GMR strictly adhere to pertinent laws, rules, and regulations, including those relating to projects bidded by the Philippine National Government,” the company said. “We have done so at the MCIA and will continue to do so for the rehabilitation and transformation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).”

Megawide has also submitted an unsolicited proposal to rehabilitate the country’s main gateway. The company says this proposal is still active and has not been junke dby the government, contrary to a report by a website that it was “junked” by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA).

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“Megawide and GMR honor the trust of the Filipino public and reject all baseless allegations,” it said. “We will answer them in the proper fora and we will respond to such attempts to malign our reputation with full and credible legal action. Such malicious actions do a disservice to the thousands of Filipinos who have contributed to the success of MCIA, which has brought pride to our country not by bringing others down, but by lending a hand to all its stakeholders. These desperate schemes will not, and should not, prosper.

“Attempting to bring down capable and qualified local players for their own vested interests at a time of crisis is anti-progress and anti-Filipino,” it added. “Crab mentality is a roadblock to inclusive economic recovery that we must fight and overcome.”

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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