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.