SC to Piatco: pay Japanese contractors $172-M
The high court says it does not see a reason to reverse a Court of Appeals decision ordering Piatco to pay the amount

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine International Air Terminals Co (Piatco) must pay its two Japanese contractors $172 million for building the controversial Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, the Supreme Court has ruled.

In a 12-page decision released Friday, July 13, the High Court upheld a Court of Appeals decision that, in turn, upheld a Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) ruling on the payment.

Makati RTC Branch 143 had ruled that Piatco must pay Japan’s Takenaka Corp and Asahikosan Corp $172 million, including attorney’s fee and litigation expenses, pursuant to the two judgments they obtained from the Queen’s Bench Division in London, England in 2005.

“There is no showing of such capricious or whimsical exercise of judgment or arbitrary and despotic exercise of power committed by the trial court,” the SC said.

“It also appears from the RTC’s Orders and the CA’s decision that any and all evidence and argument advanced by both parties were seriously taken into consideration by said lower courts in arriving at their rulings. Such being the case, there could be no grave abuse of discretion committed by the trial court,” it added.

Piatco, the consortium that was awarded the NAIA-3 contract, hired the two Japanese firms for the construction of the previously mothballed airport terminal.

Piatco, meantime, is in a separate legal battle with the Philippine government over ownership and operation of NAIA-3.

NAIA-3 was supposed to have been opened in 2002, but this was delayed when the Arroyo government cancelled Piatco’s contract due to alleged irregularities.

In 2003, the Arroyo government won a favorable decision from the SC that declared Piatco’s contract null and void. It took over operation of the airport terminal a year later. –


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