Globe Telecom filed a civil suit against a resident of Dasmarinas Village, claiming moral damages amounting to P5 million, for preventing construction of cell sites that kept the telecommunications operator from improving mobile services within the exclusive subdivision.
Globe filed the case against Betty Aw before the Regional Trial Court of Makati Branch 59 last June 13, 2017. Aside from moral damages, Globe is also claiming exemplary damages of 500,000 plus attorneys’ fees.
Globe said that prior to the installation and operation of its outdoor distributed antenna system or ODAS in Dasmarinas, the company sent a letter to the Dasmarinas Village Association Inc. (DVAI) President Bernie Lichaytoo manifesting its intention to install and establish ODAS sites in the village. Globe said that when DVAI scheduled the company’s request for a referendum to obtain the necessary vote approving the construction of ODAS tower, Aw, “with manifest intention to prevent the referendum from taking place, started to spread rumors in the neighborhood, making unsubstantiated statements about the health risk brought about by the radiation emitted by telecommunications antennas.”
According to Globe, Aw also “distributed materials containing false information against the officers of DVAI, Globe and even handed a prepared but unaccomplished undertaking or affidavit with a strong request for homeowners to sign and say they are against the construction and installation of ODAS in the subdivision.”
Globe said she also “coaxed homeowners and residents to stage rallies against Globe and oppose installation of ODAS facilities,” setting aside an actual measurement survey done by the Center for Device Regulation, Radiation Health and Research. The agency’s measurement survey concluded that the results of the radio frequency radiation (RFR) measurements show that the measured power density levels from Globe ODAS do not exceed the limit set by the Center for Device Regulation, Radiation Health and Research for the public, Globe said.
According to Globe, “the actuations of Aw in circulating false and unsubstantiated information regarding the installation and operation of the company’s ODAS is a clear abuse of her right as she did not act with justice, gave Globe, the DVA and its officers as well as homeowners and residents their due. Neither did she observe honesty and good faith.”
The company emphasized that Ms. Aw “acted irresponsibly in failing to verify the truth of the nature and effects of the operation of telecommunication facilities and ODAS prior to making unfounded statements regarding radiation being emitted by telecommunication antennas and spreading the same in the community as gospel truth as to sow fear, and thus, unduly preventing the installation and operation of the company’s ODAS to the prejudice of homeowners and residents in Dasmarinas Village.”
“The malicious and false rumors were made by Ms. Aw with no other intention than to tarnish the good image of Globe. Since defendant made the statements and circulated the same in the village, the company has been receiving queries and angry calls from the homeowners and residents, government officials and influential businessmen,” Globe emphasized.
Globe piloted the use of the ODAS technology in Dasmarinas as part of efforts to further improve mobile experience of its customers residing in the upscale subdivision. The ODAS technology is a network of small cell sites, instead of typical macro cell sites, with shared equipment connected through fiber optic links. The solution makes use of a specialized lamp posts with radio signal transmission capability deployed along sidewalks.
For many years now, Globe has been experiencing difficulty in securing permits from villages, which is one of the 25 permits necessary for the telecommunications provider to put up one cell site. The permitting process for establishing a cell site could take at least 8 months to complete. The adamant refusal of some homeowners resident groups to allow the deployment of telecom facilities, such as cell sites, continues to deprive many Globe customers of reliable mobile services.