4th judge backs out of MORE Power-PECO expro case

first_imgILOILO City – MORE Electric and Power Corp.’s (MORE Power)expropriation case against Panay Electric Co. (PECO) was re-raffled again. Set for retirement, Judge Gloria Madero of the Regional TrialCourt (RTC) Branch 29 who was supposed to handle the case – the fourth judge,in fact – deemed it proper to let another RTC branch tackle the case, a sourcetold Panay News. In seeking the expropriation of PECO’s assets, MORE Power citedSection 10 of RA 11212 and Rule 67 Section 2 of the Revised Rules of Courtauthorizing it to take possession of, exercise control over, and manage andoperate all of the power distribution assets in Iloilo City. By MORE Power’s own estimate, PECO’s power distribution system isvalued at P481,842,450 – way below PECO’s previous claim that its assets areworth at least P2 billion./PN It was on Jan. 27 when the case was re-raffled to RTC Branch 29 ofMadero after Judge Ma. Theresa Gaspar of RTC Branch 33 decided to inhibitciting her close ties to PECO owners. MORE Power also petitioned the court to determine the reasonablevalue of PECO’s power distribution system assets for just compensation, thenorder the transfer of the ownership of these upon payment of a justcompensation. The expropriation of PECO’s assets in its favor, according to MOREPower, would allow it to “immediately address and correct poor services, overcharging,frequent brownouts, expensive rates, old and unsafe facilities and practices,and other service deficiencies that this city’s power users and consumers hadlong suffered.” She already started processing her retirement papers, the sourceadded. PECO, however, questioned the constitutionality of Republic Act(RA) 11212, specifically the sections on expropriation. PECO’s power distribution franchise expired on Jan. 19, 2019. MORE Power asked RTC Branch 37 to issue a writ of possessionauthorizing it to take immediate control, operation, use, and disposition ofPECO’s power distribution system assets. The re-raffle was held on Monday. The case landed on RTC Branch 23of Judge Emerald Kuizon Requina-Contreras. MORE Power filed the expropriationcase against PECO in March 2019 a month after President Rodrigo Duterte signedits franchise law (Republic Act 11212) as new power distributor in Iloilo City. The other judge who previously heardthe case Judge Yvette Go of RTC Branch 37. It was on Jan. 2 when the case wasre-raffled to Gaspar’s sala after RTC Branch 35’s Judge Daniel Antonio GerardoAmular inhibited, too.last_img

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