SC asked to nullify Meralco power deals

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Supreme Court

THE Bayan Muna partylist asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to declare null and void certain power supply deals entered into by Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) which allegedly violate cometitive selection rules.

In a 28-page petition, Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani T. Zarate and Chair Neri J. Colmenares asked the High Court to permit their intervention in the case, filed by Alyansa Para sa Bagong Pilipinas, Inc. in 2017.

Mr. Zarate and Mr. Colmenares also asked the SC to issue a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction to “restrain the ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) from acting on the Joint Applications filed by Meralco and Respondent Generation Companies.” The case stemmed from the Power Supply Agreements entered into by Meralco and other affiliated power generation companies, which allegedly fail to comply with the Competitive Selection Process (CSP).

The ERC, in issuing Resolution No. 1 Series of 2016, restated the effectivity of the CSP Rules from October 2015 to April 2016, which intervenors alleged had allowed Meralco to enter into seven PSAs.

“This is clear showing that the intention is to accommodate and bend over backwards, to the great detriment and prejudice of the consumers. Grave abuse is apparent on the part of the ERC,” according to the petition.

Bayan Muna also claimed that the ERC further violated its own rules by accommodating PSA applications after office hours.

It was revealed in congressional hearings that the joint applications of Meralco and affiliated companies were filed beyond the cut-off time of 5 pm on April 29, 2016.

The intervenors also argued that the SC should issue a TRO as “there is no assurance that the ERC will not act upon the assailed Joint Applications filed before it.”

“If the ERC would resolve the Joint Applications pending the resolution of this Petition, grave and irreparable injury will result to intervenors and the public in general,” they added. — Charmaine A. Tadalan