The Panay Electric Company (PECO) has asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE) owned by gambling and ports magnate Enrique Razon Jr. from taking over the power distribution in Iloilo.

Ayaw bumitaw! PECO asks CA to stop Ricky Razon’s MORE from becoming Iloilo’s power distributor

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The Panay Electric Company (PECO) has asked the Court of Appeals (CA) to stop More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE) owned by gambling and ports magnate Enrique Razon Jr. from taking over the power distribution in Iloilo.

“The premature takeover not only is unjust, irregular and unwise, it will plunge the city of Iloilo into darkness,” said DivinaLaw, the law firm of PECO, in a statement.

DivinaLaw said that it the petition it filed before the CA sought the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or writ of injunction that would halt the implementation of the writ of possession issued by the Iloilo Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 23.

The RTC issued the order which would allow MORE to take over the power distribution facilities after securing having secured a franchise, while, PECO failed to renew its 25-year franchise.

“Contrary to what’s being circulated via publicity by MORE, it will be highly irregular at this point to insist on the takeover pending resolution of the motion for clarification that PECO has filed with the RTC of Iloilo to define the parameters of the implementation and, more importantly, in view of the Petition for Certiorari with prayer for TRO that has been filed with the Court of Appeals. MORE cannot jump the gun and pre-empt the ruling on our application for TRO,” said DivinaLaw.

The law firm also reminded that MORE has a pending appeal before the Supreme Court (SC) which denied MORE’s petition to issue a TRO or writ of injunction against the Mandaluyong RTC which declared MORE’s expropriation and takeover of PECO’s electric distribution assets unconstitutional.

While this legal issue is being resolved, DivinaLaw assured “PECO will responsibly continue to provide service to the City.”

“Additionally, PECO will vigorously pursue all legal remedies to set aside the order,” it said.

“We maintain that the order is unjust and impractical particularly given that another court has declared the unconstitutionality of MORE’s franchise and MORE’s appeal to reverse such judgment remains pending with the SC,” it added.

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May parusa ‘pag umayaw! AFP requires soldiers to be vaccinated vs COVID-19

MANILA – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) inoculation is mandatory for all of its personnel but they have the option to choose among vaccine brands other than Sinovac at their own expense.

“Thus, to get inoculated or not is not an option for the members of the AFP, it is a duty. At the most, the exercise of an option will be the option to as to what brand of vaccine they will be availing of, but the cost of which will not be paid by the AFP,” AFP spokesperson, Marine Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said in an online press briefing.

Malacañang earlier announced that the first batch of Sinovac Biotech vaccines composed of 600,000 doses donated by China is set to arrive on Sunday (Feb. 28), with 100,000 doses of which will be given to the Department of National Defense, the AFP’s mother agency.

Aside from military personnel, Arevalo added that their chief-of-staff Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana has said that their dependents must be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, those opting for other vaccine brands who decided to forego their inoculation can do so but once they are called to duty to serve as front-liners, they will have no choice but to follow.

“They must perform their duties and task but they will have to resort to the traditional health protocol, mag-mask, mag-shield, maghugas ng kamay at mag-maintain ng social distance pansamantala habang hindi pa sila natuturukan ng vaccine na pinipili nila (like the wearing of mask, face shields, regularly washing their hands, and maintaining social distance while they are yet to be vaccinated with the brand of their choice),” Arevalo said.

Meanwhile, said AFP personnel assigned and performing duties that will expose them to Covid-19 patients are required to have themselves vaccinated with the available vaccines.

He added that the AFP will play three major roles in the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine — security, medical and logistics support operations. (PNA)

Payag ba sa barter? Bello waiting for UK’s response to PH offer to deploy more healthcare workers

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is waiting for the response of the United Kingdom (UK) on its proposed provision of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine amid UK’s request for an exemption from the deployment cap of Filipino healthcare workers (HCWs).

In a telephone interview on Thursday, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said they expect the UK government to respond on the issue within 10 days.

“I told them for me to be able to recommend it to the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases), I have to be assured of the safety of our workers. The only way we can be assured about the safety of our OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) is (through) the vaccine,” he said.

Bello said the UK may want to send the coronavirus vaccines so the country can immunize the nurses before they are deployed.

“For us to be able to send our medical workers, we want to ensure that they are safe and their health is secured. We don’t have the vaccine, if they want, they can send us (vaccine),” he added.

Bello said he did not provide specific quantities of the vaccines.

“Why not include all OFWs and not just HCWs. In case they are ready to give us the vaccines, I will give them the number of OFWs that will be vaccinated. I just want to be sure that those who will be deployed have received the vaccine,” he added.

The Philippine government is asking the UK and Germany to provide vaccines against Covid-19 for OFWs as part of the agreement in relation to the deployment of health service workers, particularly nurses.

The country has two bilateral agreements with the UK in 2002 and 2003.

The UK and Germany are seeking to be exempted from the 5,000 cap on the deployment of nurses being implemented by the government to ensure there is an adequate number of nurses in the country in case the need arises.

Meanwhile, Bello said he understands the reaction of the people on the issue.

“They thought I would barter our nurses with the vaccine. I just hope that before they accuse me, they should have asked me first and look at what really happened. They just criticized and what they are saying is not true,” he added. (PNA)

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