Iloilo power firm sues local officials for P100-million

Published June 28, 2019, 10:13 AM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY – Panay Electric Co. (PECO), the embattled power utility firm of this city, has filed a P100-million lawsuit against two outgoing city councilors, a consultant of Presidential Adviser for Visayas Michael Dino, and the daughter of former justice secretary Raul Gonzales Sr. for damaging its reputation.

Panay Electric Co. (PECO) Logo
Panay Electric Co. (PECO) Logo

PECO Administrative Manager Marcelo U. Cacho confirmed that the firm was hauling to court outgoing Iloilo City Councilors Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava, Jane Javellana, and Dr. Marigold Gonzalez for falsification of documents and cyber-libel.

Cacho explained to Manila Bulletin that the lawsuit was one of the components of a criminal case filed Thursday in Manila.

PECO asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate its rival MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) in the latter’s attempt to take possession of PECO’s assets.

To recall, PECO lost its government franchise while it alleged that MORE Power, owned by billionaire Enrique Razon Jr., was able to secure a government franchise in a short period of time.

The claim of falsification of documents was related to the signatures submitted last year to both the Lower House and Senate that allegedly showed city residents opposing PECO’s application for franchise renewal.

Of the estimated 27,000 signatures gathered, it was claimed that only 3,500 were real while the rest were fake.
Alim, Nava, Javellana, and Gonzalez were also accused of damaging PECO’s reputation before Congress by maligning the company’s services.