Surigao solon slams lawyer of Iloilo power firm for warning SC on ruling vs client

Published September 7, 2020, 4:16 PM

by Ben Rosario

Deputy Speaker Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel on Monday slammed a lawyer for an Iloilo power firm for warning the Supreme Court that a ruling against her client will set a “bad precedent” for business in the country.

House Deputy Speaker Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel

Pimentel said parties involved in the power distribution controversy in Iloilo should allow the High Court to independently rule on the issue just like how Congress reached its decision in the award of legislative franchise.

Pimentel said there is no legal basis for the allegation of PECO lead counsel Estella Emlaparo that a judicial ruling in favor of More Power will legitimize hostile takeovers of companies and franchises from interested parties without showing their technical capacity.

The House official explained that Congress did not renew PECO’s service as the power distributor of Iloilo to favor a new company so there is no truth of of hostile takeover since PECO was removed because of consumers finally stood up and rejected them due to poor service.

“The opinion of PECO is self-serving because they still want to operate the electric utility but the truth of the matter is that it is the consumers who have been clamoring for another utility company because for several decades PECO has a very poor service and they have several pending cases because of complaints from the customers,”explained Pimentel.

He said Congress rejected PECO due to the numerous complaints from consumers ranging from overbilling to poor service which were used as basis why its legislative franchise was not renewed.

“I was always present during the hearings of the renewal of their franchise and I have thorough knowledge of their poor performance and several violations with the Energy Regulatory Commission(ERC),” Pimentel added.

Pimentel maintained there is nothing wrong with doing business in the country especially if there are other companies who cannot provide reliable and world-class services needed by consumers.

“I think the people deserves a better utility company than PECO who can really serve the needs of the people,” he said.