DoJ probing subcontracting ‘swindle’

The Department of Justice will look at the circumstances regarding the filing of multiple counts of swindling against corporate officials of a global telecommunications equipment firm.

The DoJ will review the 29-page complaint recently lodged before the National Prosecution Office against eight Manila-based Ericsson Telecommunications Inc. officials.

The officials are facing estafa charges for allegedly refusing to pay local subcontractors some P54 million covering 32 completed projects in Luzon alone.

The “swindled” Filipino subcontractors completed various technical works involving system integration, structured cabling, civil works, and electrical services for a long list of projects in malls, hospitals, business centers, and schools from 2020 to 2023.

The DoJ expressed determination to resolve what appears to be a common practice by foreign investors who take advantage of Filipino subcontractors.

The department reminded foreign entities to comply with Republic Act 5455, which requires companies owned in whole or in part by foreigners to contribute to the sound and balanced development of the national company on a self-sustaining basis.

The DoJ also warned that abusive foreign investors would be held civilly and criminally accountable.

Respondents in the criminal case were foreign corporate bosses Martin Wiktorin, Jesmin Ehsan, Johan Kvist and Wee Tiong Ng.

Estafa charges were also filed against Emerson Clemena, Jose Michael Hernal, Charis Heidi Ibarra and Roderick Reodica — all holding office at Ericsson’s Bonifacio Global City office in Taguig City.

The government does not condone foreign business companies taking advantage of Filipino subcontractors.

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