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PECO gets 20-day TRO vs MORE Power

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THE MANDALUYONG Regional Trial Court Branch 209 approved on March 13 Panay Electric Company, Inc.’s (PECO) petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against More Electric and Power Co. (MORE Power), effective for 20 days. The court said sections 10 and 17 of Republic Act 11212, which grants MORE Power the franchise to distribute power in Iloilo City, violates PECO’s rights to due process. “Sections 10 and 17 violate PECO’s right to due process because it allows MORE to seize PECO’s private property under the guise of eminent domain. In essence, it directs the turnover of PECO’s business to MORE as the new franchise holder and authorizes MORE to usurp all the distribution assets that PECO has built, developed, and invested in over the years,” the court decision reads. The TRO also covers the issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) and provisional authority to operate. PECO Administrative Manager Marcelo U. Cacho, in an interview, said their next move would be to seek the granting of their application for preliminary injunction against MORE Power. “The law naman is on our side,” he said. MORE Power Chief Executive Officer and President Roel Z. Castro, meanwhile, said, “As we are always saying, we will respect the decision of the court. — Emme Rose S. Santiagudo