Ilonggo power consumers welcomed the recent decision of the Department of Justice junking the case filed by Panay Electric Co. against them, calling this a victory and ensures the protection of consumers’ rights.
The DOJ ruled against PECO which had accused former Iloilo City councilor Joshua Alim and colleague, former Iloilo City Councilor Plaridel Nava II, and two others, including now Presidential Consultant for Western Visayas Jane Javellana and Dr. Marigold Gonzales for allegedly falsifying the signature of 27,000 Ilonggos in a petition that became the basis for Congress’ non-renewal of PECO’s franchise
Alim said there would have been no petition to stop the renewal of PECO’s franchise which expired in January 2019 if PECO listened to the complaints of its customers.
He said PECO continues to remain deaf to the pleas of consumers.
“PECO’s abuses and arrogance towards its consumers brought them to their total rest. Had they listened to the pleas and complaints of their consumers from the very start they could have stayed alive,” he said.
In a decision recently penned by DOJ Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, charges of conspiracy and falsification of public documents filed by PECO against its critics was “dismissed for utter lack of merit.”
The joint resolution dismissing the case was also signed by DOJ State Prosecutor Gilmarie Fe Pacamarra and Senior State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.
Nava said the cancellation of PECO’s franchise is a victory to all Iloilo consumers.
“It is the victory of all consumers who fought hard against the oppressive PECO,” Nava said.
PECO claimed that the manifesto, which was signed by 27,000 persons, was falsified and was used in favor of another applicant, referring to MORE Power.
PECO’s franchise expired in January last year and was not renewed by Congress. It granted the franchise to MORE Power and Electric Corp. to operate the distribution system to ensure continuous and uninterrupted supply of electricity in the city.
The franchise mandated MORE Power to modify, improve, upgrade, and change the distribution facilities, systems, or the management and maintenance of the distribution facility and to continuously improve its facilities and employ the latest technology and innovations that promote efficiency and is beneficial to consumers.