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PECO files new raps in PCC versus MORE Power

Cacho-led Panay Electric Company (PECO) has filed a new complaint against MORE Electric and Power Corporation with the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) accusing the latter of monopolistic and anti-trust practices in the distribution of power in Iloilo City.

The main office of Panay Electric Co. (PECO) in Iloilo City. (Tara Yap/File/Manila Bulletin)

PECO counsel Estrella Elamparo said the complaint lodged with the PCC relates to MORE Power’s alleged violations of the provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) or Republic Act 9136; as well as that of the Philippine Competition Act or Republic Act 10667.

The company opined that MORE Power violated Constitutional principles “when it seized the assets, equipment and clientele of its only existing competition – PECO – without purchasing its own property or investing in resources that would have enabled it to serve its consumers reliably.”

The PECO lawyer pointed out “MORE Power’s actions are maneuvering to establish their monopolistic stronghold on the power sector of Iloilo City,” thus, she noted that their plea is for “PCC to investigate MORE Power and thus stop the suffering of the Ilonggos and bring justice to PECO.”

Elamparo qualified “instead of building its own distribution system capable of keeping up with PECO’s existing assets, MORE Power, under the guise of expropriation, picked the easy way and simply took PECO’s facilities and clientele.”

She explained that by resorting to that scheme, MORE Power “avoided competing against a seasoned player and, at the same time, gained dominance over the industry.”

In a related development, PECO filed a separate case against Francis Gentoral, executive director of the Iloilo Economic Development Foundation Inc. (ILEDF), accusing him of libel, allegedly for his “unfounded attacks against PECO”; hence, the company is asking the accused to retract his statements.

As Elamparo averred “we are fighting for our rights and to stop ILEDF from tarnishing the reputation of PECO.”

The PECO counsel stressed “Gentoral released public statements backing up MORE Power’s claims that PECO had caused numerous investors to turn away from Iloilo.”

In the case filed with the Mandaluyong City regional trial court, it was stipulated that respondent-Gentoral’s “false statement and distortion of facts were obviously made in a bid to tarnish PECO’s reputation.”

Elamparo pointed out “what makes ILEDF’s published statements suspicious and dubious is the organization’s history with MORE Power.  MORE Power’s CEO Roel Castro, used to sit on the board of IELDF.”

She stressed “the very least that ILEDF could have done was to disclose their history with Castro before issuing those statements,” emphasizing that “ideally, decorum and business ethics require that they should just have remained impartial throughout and refrained from making those statements supporting MORE Power.”

Elamparo argued “we are fighting for our rights and to stop ILEDF from tarnishing the reputation of PECO,” while adding that “we are also fighting for the welfare of the people of Iloilo.”


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/09/peco-files-new-raps-in-pcc-versus-more-power/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=peco-files-new-raps-in-pcc-versus-more-power)

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