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Philippines eyes closure to Naia 3 dispute with Germany

/ 03:23 AM December 23, 2011

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario

The Philippines is trying to put a “closure” to the Fraport-Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Terminal 3 case, which has stalled relations between the Philippines and Germany in the past 10 years, according to Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario.

Speaking to foreign affairs reporters, Del Rosario on Wednesday expressed confidence ties between the two countries could finally “move forward.”

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“The Fraport (controversy) is not the sum total of Philippines-Germany relations,” he said matter-of-factly.

But he acknowledged because of the issue, there was some sort of “freezing of relations” between the two nations.

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Del Rosario, who visited Germany early this month, disclosed they were “trying to find ways of moving forward in our economic, political and cultural relations.”

“What remains is the compensation package … and I told (German government officials) that the Philippine government has made serious efforts in arriving at a fair and just resolution to the Fraport case,” he said.

During his recent meeting with Germany’s Minister of State Werner Hoyer and Guido Westerwelle, his German counterpart, the Department of Foreign Affairs chief asserted that the Fraport case should not be tied to the two countries’ bilateral relations.

“We briefly discussed if any separate track can be pursued,” he said.

Fraport is the foreign partner in the Philippine International Airport Terminal Company (Piatco), the consortium that bagged the contract to build Naia Terminal 3.

In 2002, Manila nullified the contract over allegations that the private firm violated antidummy regulations.

Fraport promptly filed a compensation case before the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, citing violations of the bilateral investment treaty between Manila and Berlin.

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For its part, Piatco filed a damage suit before the Singapore-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

Last year, the ICC ruled in favor of the Philippine government, but Piatco has appealed the decision. In November, the Singapore High Court dismissed Piatco’s petition for compensation, upholding the ICC ruling. Jerry E. Esplanada

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TAGS: aviation, DFA, Fraport, Germany, NAIA 3, Philippines
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