MORE Power asks Iloilo judge to resolve motion for inhibition
MANILA, Philippines—MORE Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power) has asked Judge Daniel Antonio Gerardo Amular of Iloilo Regional Trial Court Branch 35 to immediately resolve its motion for reconsideration seeking his inhibition from handling the expropriation case it filed against rival Panay Electric Company (PECO).
MORE asked Amular to inhibit from the case for allegedly showing bias in favor of PECO.
Among the bases cited by the new Iloilo City power distribution firm is the judge’s alleged attempt to amicably settle the expropriation case for the sake of consumers.
In a two-page manifestation dated Dec. 16, MORE Power said that since no opposition was raised against its motion for reconsideration of his earlier decision not to inhibit from the pending expropriation case, it suggested that Amular consider voluntarily recusing himself from the case.
“As the essential issues, on the instant motion for reconsideration and motion to inhibit, revolve on competence (or incompetence), impartiality (or bias), and accusations against the Presiding Judge for violation of judicial ethics , any further hearing is no longer necessary, except for the Presiding Judge to speak his mind in writing, without unnecessary delay,” the manifestation stated.
It even cited a Supreme Court ruling, which held “that voluntary inhibition is primarily a matter of conscience and sound discretion on the part of the judge since he is in a better position to determine whether a given situation would unfairly affect his attitude towards the parties or their cases.”
“It may not be amiss to inform the Presiding Judge that an administrative complaint was already filed before the Supreme Court, for grave misconduct, gross ignorance of the law, and violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct,” MORE Power said, in a manifestation.
MORE Power is seeking to take over PECO’s distribution asset after it acquired a franchise to put up its distribution facilities.
PECO’s franchise expired last January but the energy regulator allowed the power firm to operate for two more years to prevent power disruption in Iloilo City.
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