Judge wants More Power vs Peco case tried outside of Iloilo
MANILA, Philippines – The Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge handling the expropriation case against a power distribution company in Iloilo prefers to yield jurisdiction of the case as it has become “too politicized.”
Judge Daniel Antonio Gerardo Amular of Iloilo City’s RTC Branch 35 said in a statement on Saturday that moving the case away from Iloilo City would be to the best interest of both parties — namely the More Electric and Power Corp. (More Power) and Panay Electric Company (Peco).
“For the best interest of the parties, [the case should be transferred outside the jurisdiction of the RTC of Iloilo] to be tried and heard by the designated judged therein,” Amular said.
This acknowledgment from Amular stemmed from the administrative complaint filed against him at the Supreme Court by More Power President Roel Castro and company lawyer Hector Teodosio.
The complaint against the judge was for allegedly committing “grave misconduct, gross ignorance of the law, and violation of the Code of Judicial Ethics” when he supposedly deliberately delayed the imposition of a writ of possession on Peco’s assets.
Previously, More Power also asked for Amular to inhibit himself from the case, claiming that he had shown a bias for Peco.
More Power and Peco are locked in a battle to gain the authority to oversee the supply of electricity to Iloilo City and gain control of Peco’s distribution assets, after Peco’s operating franchise expired last January 2020 and More Power was granted a 25-year franchise.
However, the Energy Regulatory Commission gave Peco a provisional franchise, allowing it to continue the distribution of power in Iloilo, thus avoiding power interruption while the case is still ongoing.
“Indeed, the ruling of the Honorable SC will guide this Court whether the authority conferred upon the plaintiff as a quasi-public corporation by Congress has been correctly or properly exercised by it,” Amular said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.