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Iloilo court to proceed with PECO-MORE Power expropriation hearings

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BW/ERSSANTIAGUDO

THE ILOILO Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 37 has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Panay Electric Company, Inc. (PECO) against the hearings on the expropriation case filed by More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power). “The court hereby resolves that the hearing shall proceed with dispatch since the case involves electricity which is a basic necessity and vested with public interest,” Iloilo RTC Judge Marie Yvette D. Go said in an order issued May 24. MORE Power, which now holds the franchise to distribute electricity in the city, filed the expropriation case on March 11 this year to acquire and take over PECO’s assets. MORE Power said it is willing and able to deposit the amount of P481,842,450, the estimated total value of PECO’s power distribution system. MORE Power President and Chief Executive Officer Roel Z. Castro, said in a statement, “This is something positive because at least we know a hearing on our application for the writ of possession can proceed.” Another case between the two companies is pending before a court in Mandaluyong City, wherein PECO is questioning the constitutionality of the provisions of MORE Power’s franchise as contained in Republic Act 11212. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo