NEXTEL OWNERSHIP LEGAL - NTCMakati City, May 8, 2003 -- The National Telecommunications Commission said that Next Mobile Inc., formerly Nextel Communications Philippines has complied with the constitutional limitations on foreign ownership. In an order dated May 6, 2003, the NTC said the Securities and Exchange Commission, has earlier ruled that ownership structures similar to that of Nextel's as of Philippine nationality, The NSC however said it has no jurisdiction over the legal issues that were raised in the complaints. The NTC further noted that "the jurisdiction and supervision over all corporations, partnerships or associations who are grantees of primary franchises and/or license or permit issued by the government and the power to regulate, investigate or supervise the activities of persons to ensure compliance and to impose sanctions for the violation is vested in the SEC." Earlier, former chief executive officer of Nextel Antonio Urera have testified and filed charges against Nextel's ownership structure. The House Committee on Transportation and Communication is currently hearing the case. Nextel said its president and CEO Mel Velarde did a successful management buy-out of the telecom firm from the former owners and as a result, the company is now wholly-Filipino owned. But administration Congressman Prospero Nograles earlier said that he received reports that Nextel used dummies and an intricate corporate layering scheme to conceal its true state of ownership. Nextel International Inc.(NII), purely a foreign-owned firm, has taken full control of Next Mobile after NII bought 20 percent equity interest of the Gotesco Group of Jose Go. Gotesco's holdings went to Gamboa Holdings, one of the alleged dummy companies of NII. Nextel's former CEO. Urera said NII managed to wrest control over Nextel through a series of buy-outs involving the company's original stakeholders. At present, he said Nextel is now 87 percent owned by NII.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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