Court denies MR on power distribution takeover

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    The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo City has denied Panay Electric Co.’s (PECO) motion for reconsideration on an earlier decision that ordered the city sheriff to place More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) in possession of the properties identified for expropriation.

    The order dated July 2 and signed by RTC branch 23 Judge Emerald Requina-Contreras also reiterated PECO no longer has the franchise to operate the distribution system in the city nor a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) from the Energy Regulatory Commission.

    “Defendant PECO should know this better as this has been what they have been invoking and the very reason why the court crafted the addendum,” Contreras said in the order.

    “Defendant PECO, in fact, had resorted to other legal remedies to question the said action of the court but as of this writing, there is no order from the higher court to rule otherwise. Wherefore, finding no cogent reason to set aside or disturb its earlier order, the motion for reconsideration is denied,” the order further stated.

    Among the crucial properties of PECO expropriated to MORE Power are land and machinery from substations in Baldoza-La Paz; General Luna; Tabuc Suba, Jaro; Bolilao, Mandurriao; and Avanceña St., Molo with a combined value of P217,940,870.

    Personal properties directly used in the electric distribution services in Iloilo City, such as consumers’ electric meters, poles, transformers, transmission and distribution equipment composed of primary and secondary lines, service vehicles and equipment used directly in the distribution, maintenance and troubleshooting activities were also covered by the deal.

    The order also covered PECO’s assets listed under the distribution plant in the ERC record, which included the meter lab, power plant building, and switchboard house with total assessed value of P14,792,680.

    PECO’s franchise expired in January last year.

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