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Megawide says arrest warrants out vs GMCAC officials

The newly opened Mactan-Cebu International Airport Terminal 2 offers a unique airport-resort experience. — MAYA PADILLO

Megawide Construction Corp. said the Lapu-Lapu City Regional Trial Court has issued arrest warrants against the officials of GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC) over alleged violations of the Anti-Dummy Law in connection with the Mactan-Cebu International airport (MCIA) contract.

“This is the latest development in a long line of attempts to bring down Megawide’s reputation and credibility that, will be recalled, began with its bid for the rehabilitation of (Ninoy Aquino International Airport),” Megawide said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.

GMCAC is a joint venture between Megawide and India’s infrastructure giant GMR Group that won in 2014 the government contract to develop and operate the MCIA.

The Department of Justice in October indicted 15 executives of GMCAC based on a complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation. The list included eight foreign nationals who were accused of being involved in the operations of GMCAC “in conspiracy” with Filipino executives, including Megawide Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Edgar B. Saavedra.

“This is a procedural step to acquire jurisdiction over the persons of the said directors, and is being addressed with the posting of bail,” Megawide said.

At the stock exchange, shares of Megawide slumped by 3.39% to close at P5.42 apiece on Friday.

The listed construction firm told the stock exchange that the arrest warrants came despite their “timely filing” of a motion seeking to defend themselves before the court.

Megawide officials also asked for the deferment of the arrest warrant, should there be one, and the dismissal of the case for the lack of probable cause and due process.

“GMCAC transformed the MCIA into the Philippines’ only internationally-acclaimed and award-winning airport, and have done so through a firm adherence with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, particularly as both are widely-held publicly-listed companies,” Megawide said in the statement.

“We will diligently respond to this case in the proper fora and abide by the judicial process,” it added. — Keren Concepcion G. Valmonte

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