CA junks TRO bid on expropriation case

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    The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the bid of Panay Electric Co. (PECO) to stop the expropriation of its electricity distribution assets in Iloilo City to ensure continuous and assured electricity supply for 50,000 homes and businesses by More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE), the new distribution utility (DU) franchise holder in the region.

    In a ruling penned by CA associate justice Alfredo Ampuan, the apellate court’s 18th division based in Cebu, denied PECO’s petition for a temporary restraining order against the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court and another petition for a writ of preliminary injunction against the same court, after it ordered the expropriation of PECO’s distribution assets by MORE.

    The CA said PECO’s business will not be hampered since Congress has granted the DU franchise to MORE instead of PECO.

    The court also did not believe PECO’s claim expropriation of its distribution assets will result into power disruptions citing that MORE is ensuring it would not happen by expropriating PECO’s distribution assets as the new DU franchise holder.

    The CA added under Republic Act 9136, only the Supreme Court (SC) can stop the implementation of any portion of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, which includes the power of eminent domain by DUs in their franchise areas.

    In a separate statement, PECO said the CA’s denial is already “moot and academic.”