CA upholds Australian firm's right to 50-year PCSO thermal paper supply deal

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the right of an Australian firm to continue with its 50-year joint venture with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for the supply of thermal paper to all lotto outlets nationwide.

In a two-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Priscilla Baltazar Padilla, the CA's Special 14th Division denied the appeal of Philippine Gaming Management Corporation (PGMC) to reverse a Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) decision in favor of TMA Australia PTY Ltd and its local subsidiary, TMA Group Philippines.

"[N]o new, valid and cogent reason was forwarded by the movant to convince this Court to amend, much less, reverse its aforesaid decision. The arguments embodied therein are mere rehash of those earlier pleaded which have already been amply passed upon by this Court," the CA said in its decision.

The legal battle began after the PCSO revoked its 2009 deal with TMA in April 2011, after the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel found that the supply contract violated Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and evaded review by the Commission on Audit.

The court, upon TMA's petition, issued a preliminary injunction against the PCSO's revocation.

At the time, PGMC then entered into an interim supply agreement with the PCSO, which TMA said violated its exclusive rights.

TMA filed another complaint with the Makati RTC, which ruled in favor of the firm and stopped PGMC from entering into any thermal paper supply deals with the PCSO.

The appellate court held that TMA has a "clear and unmistakable" right to be protected, following the PCSO contract. – Rappler.com