Criminal case filed against Megawide execs dismissed

THE Regional Trial Court of Lapu-Lapu City has dismissed the criminal case filed against officials of Megawide Construction Corp., in their capacity as directors of the GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corp. (GMCAC), for violation of the Anti-Dummy Law.Charged in the case were Manuel Louie Ferrer, executive director for infrastructure development and chief corporate affairs and branding officer of Megawide; Jez Dela Cruz, vice president of corporate finance and planning of Megawide; Edgar Saavedra, chief executive officer and president of Megawide; and Oliver Tan, director of Megawide.The dismissal of the case arose from the Motion to quash information filed by the Megawide respondents on March 24, 2022.The omnibus order explained, among others, that the dismissal of the case was necessitated by the enactment of Republic Act (RA) 11659, signed into law last March 21, 2022, which “clearly excluded airport operations and maintenance from the definition of a public utility; thereby, removing the applicability of the nationality restriction to GMCAC in operating the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.”Consequently, RA 11659 has completely eradicated any alleged violation of the Anti-Dummy Law of which the Megawide respondents were wrongfully accused of.The omnibus order also stated that RA 11659 applies to the Megawide respondents due to the retroactive effect of laws favorable to the accused.In 2021, the Department of Justice charged 15 executives including eight foreign nationals. The complaint stemmed from a complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation for allegedly “in conspiracy” to commit violations of Commonwealth Act 108, otherwise known as the Anti-Dummy Law.