Republic v. PLDT
GR No. L-1884; January 27, 1969
The Bureau of Telecommunications set up its own Government Telephone System by utilizing its own appropriation and equipment and by renting trunk lines of the PLDT to enable government officers to call private parties. One of the rules of PLDT, however, is the prohibition on the Bureau’s public use of the service furnished only for the private use of said Bureau. The Bureau has extended its services to the general public since its inception (also using the lines of PLDT). PLDT contends that said bureau was violating the conditions under which their Private Branch Exchange is inter-connected with the PLDT’s facilities and, after giving an ultimatum, PLDT disconnected the trunk lines rented by the Bureau, effectively isolating the Philippines from the rest of the world (except the United States). Petitioner thus filed for judgment commanding PLDT to execute a contract with plaintiff.
Whether or not the PLDT may be forced to execute a contract with petitioner
The parties cannot be coerced to enter into a contract where no agreement is had between them. While the Republic may not compel the PLDT to celebrate a contract with it, the Republic may, in the exercise of the sovereign power of eminent domain, require the telephone company to permit interconnection of the government telephone system and that of the PLDT subject to just compensation. The use of PLDT’s lines and services are subjected to a burden to the respondent for the public use and benefit, thus, they constitute properties over which the power of eminent domain may be exercised.