BIR lang ang katapat! Duterte reveals how audit threat brought MVP’s PLDT to its knees
President Rodrigo Duterte went for the jugular when businessman Manny V. Pangilinan demanded P3 billion to return the 3G frequency obtained for free by a shell company of PLDT-Smart.
In a speech before local politikos in Cebu Monday (February 12), Duterte said he threatened to have the Bureau of Internal Revenue conduct an audit of PLDT-Smart and other businesses owned by Pangilinan if the frequency of CURE (Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprise, Inc.) was not returned to the government.
The President wanted the frequency back with the government so it could be used by the third telco player he wants to bring into the country.
Duterte made the threat of starting a BIR audit after Department of Information and Communications Technology officer in charge Eliseo Rio told him at a Cabinet meeting that the government needs to pay P3 billion for the return of CURE’s frequency.
“I’ll give them 24 hours. ‘Pag hindi nasauli ‘yan, kung ano ‘yung sabi nilang three billion na reimbursement, I will send the BIR tomorrow to start the audit of your company and all others ‘yung negosyo ninyo,'” he said.
A day after Roque shared Duterte’s warning for Pangilinan not to “f*ck with government,” PLDT announced it will be returning CURE’s frequency for free.
Duterte said PLDT did not want trouble.
“Pagka umaga tawag na ‘yung buang. Sabihin mo kay Mayor isauli na — we do not want an issue with them,” he said.
Duterte said PLDT-Smart and Globe snapped up frequencies even though they won’t use them to block the entry of other telco players.