By Jeffrey Damicog
The Court of Appeals (CA) has decided to hear the petition challenging the alleged questionable deals made by the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
The CA”s Former Third Division has issued a resolution which granted the motion for reconsideration of petitioner Romeo Junia who sought to stop the power supply agreements made by Meralco and Panay Energy Development Corporation before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
“After careful review of the arguments raised, we shall allow the instant motion,” read the resolution penned by former CA Associate Justice and now newly appointed Supreme Court (SC) Associate Justice Rosmari Carandang and concurred by CA Associate Justices Elihu Ybañez and Pedro Corales.
“We agree with Junia that the public be provided an opportunity to determine whether or not the public may attain, in the best way, the least-cost energy in the Power Supply Agreements between Manila Electric Company and Panay Energy Development Corporation,” appellate court pointed out.
“Supply of electricity is clearly a matter imbued with public interest and general welfare,” it added.
With the ruling, the court directed Meralco to respond to the allegations in the petition by filing a comment within 10 days of receipt of the order.
After which, Junia was also directed to file reply after five days to Meralco’s comments.
In his motion, Junia pointed out the power supply agreements are “midnight deals” and should have undergone competitive selection process before the ERC.
The petitioner also pointed out the deals do not comply with the “least-cost” mandate.
Junia explained, as an electricity consumer and Meralco client, he should be allowed to participate in the proceedings for purposes of determining if Meralco will honor its obligation in providing the public utility.