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SC ‘sticks to facts’ in Iloilo utility dispute

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THE Supreme Court (SC) maintained that it sticks to the facts and the law in coming up with a decision, following a call of a congressman to President Rodrigo R. Duterte to intervene in the case between the Razon-led MORE Power and Electric Corp. and Panay Electric Co. (PECO).

Abang-Lingkod Partylist Rep. Joseph Stephen S. Paduano on Sunday claimed that the High Court is biased to MORE after judges inhibited in the case in the lower court.

SC Public Information Chief Brian Keith F. Hosaka noted that the voting at the Supreme Court is based on the majority votes of the members of the en banc or of a division.

“As I said before in previous interviews, decisions of the Supreme Court are always founded on facts, applicable laws, and current jurisprudence,” he told reporters in a mobile-phone message.

“That is how the Supreme Court acts as mandated by our Constitution, and that is why it will always be objective and independent. In the meantime, let us wait for the final resolution of the pending cases,” Mr. Hosaka added.

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Mr. Paduano cited the “unusual inhibitions” by four trial court judges handling the expropriation case.

MORE on Friday started taking over PECO’s assets after the decision of Judge Emerald Requina-Contreras of Regional Trial Court Branch 23.

PECO legal counsel Estrella C. Elamparo, on the other hand, claimed that the takeover was “highly irregularly” due to the pending case at the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of some provisions in the franchise or MORE.

MORE was granted franchise to supply power to Iloilo City, which was served by PECO for 95 years. PECO’s last franchise for 25 years was granted in 1994. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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