Sara’s husband appeals on PECO’s behalf

October 08, 2018
Sara Duterte Carpio

THE lawyer-husband of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio yesterday appealed to the House Committee on Legislative Franchises to resume deliberation on the proposed law seeking to renew the franchise application of the Panay Electric Company (PECO) for exclusive electricity distribution in Iloilo City as four lawmakers co-authored the measure.

Atty. Manases Carpio, lawyer for PECO, stressed this in his letter to Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez, the panel chairman, dated October 5 after the latter’s committee instead approved the franchise application of MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MEPC) that was just filed last month and is believed to take over the operations of PECO.

Carpio said he hopes the Alvarez panel will also give fair treatment to PECO’s application through House Bill (HB) No. 6023 filed by Camiguin Rep. Xavier Jesus Romualdo, who chairs the House Committee on Good Government, especially now after four other lawmakers co-authored the proposal.

“On behalf of our client, Panay Electric Company, Inc. (PECO), may we respectfully request that your committee on legislative franchises set a schedule for the continuation of hearing of HB No. 6023, sponsored by Cong Xavier Jesus D. Romualdo, for October 10, 2018 at 9:00 a.m.,” Carpio said in his letter.

“Since House Bill No. 6023 has been filed much earlier, specifically on July 22, 2017, our request for the early resumption of hearing on October 10, 2018 should merit your most kind consideration,” said Carpio.

In another letter to Alvarez, Romualdo, informed the panel that Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., Abang Lingkod party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen S. Paduano, ACTS OFW party-list Rep. Aniceto “John” Bertiz III, and Anak Mindanao (AMIN) party-list Rep. Makmod Mending backed his bill as co-authors.

“The aforementioned members have, as co-authors, requested that they be officially notified of and allowed to participate in any and all proceedings that the Committee on Legislative Franchises may conduct in relation to House Bill No. 6023,” said Romualdo.

Previous reports quoted Carpio reminding Alvarez of the alleged lack of due process regarding the franchise granted to MEPC.

Carpio expressed his dissatisfaction with the Alvarez panel’s apparent absence of effort to summon PECO and other concerned stakeholders of the on-going hearings.

The panel has allegedly ignored the letters from Carpio.

For almost a year, the committee has not acted on PECO’s application for a franchise renewal, while MEPC’s application has already been granted despite only having filed their franchise application a month ago.

HB No. 8132 or franchise to MEPC was filed and immediately approved last September 2018.

It will award the electricity distribution franchise for Iloilo City to MEPC.