PECO case should be given to another court – RTC judge


The Regional Trial Court judge has pushed for the transfer of the case against Panay Electric Co. Inc. (Peco) to another court after a complaint filed against him by More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE Power).

“This case has been observed to have become too politicized. It may be respectfully suggested for the best interest of the parties that this case be transferred outside the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo to be tried and head by the designated judge therein,” Judge Daniel Antonio Gerardo S. Amular of RTC Branch 35 was quoted in a BusinessMirror report.

MORE Power claimed that Amular practiced grave misconduct, gross ignorance of the law and violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct, as stated under the 33-page complaint filed with the Supreme Court.

“It is a basic legal concept that he who alleges must prove, and mere allegations by themselves would not be given weight because it does not amount to evidence,” Amular said.

He said that MORE must prove that he committed the said allegations.

Amular added that he also wrote to the Department of Justice on December 11 to seek for guidance.

MORE Power President Roel Castro and company lawyer Hector Teodosio alleged that Amular had delayed resolution of the case in favor of Peco by ordering MORE Power to agree to a settlement.

However, Amular explained that he did not delay the proceedings but was waiting for the Supreme Court decision on whether MORE Power’s expropriation powers are constitutional.

“The present expropriation case is a case of first impression. There has been no precedent of this case filed before the entire Philippine judiciary… So many legal issues confront the court, hence, it is most unfair to charge the court it is delaying the case,” Amular explained.

MORE Power added that Amular ignored the writ of possession (WOP) issued by the previous Iloilo City RTC judge as provided under Republic Act 11212, which granted MORE a 25-year franchise of power distribution in Iloilo City.

The 17th Congress approved RA 11212 and was signed into law by President Duterte on February 14 last year, which gives MORE the authority to expropriate any distribution assets in Iloilo City.

As mandated by RA 11212, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) issued Peco a two-year temporary certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to continue it power distribution until MORE Power starts its power distribution.

Peco sought to stop the expropriation of its distribution assets. Peco turned to Mandaluyong Regional Trial Court to declare Sections 10 and 17 of RA 11212 as unconstitutional as they allegedly deprived Peco of its rights.

The SC issued a temporary restraining order to stop Mandaluyong RTC from implementing its ruling. The TRO remains in effect.