A fourth petition contesting Meralco’s P4.15 per kilowatt-hour rate increase has been filed before the Supreme Court.
The latest petitioner is former Rep. Augusto Syjuco Jr. of Iloilo, who wants the Court to rule as unconstitutional the order of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approving the unprecedented rate hike.
Rep. Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna and several congressmen were the first to challenge the rate increase before the Supreme Court. A second petition was filed by National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms (Nasecore), and a third by another group of lawmakers from the Anakpawis party-list.
The Court will hear oral arguments defending and opposing the rate increase on January 21.
Syjuco wants the tribunal to make permanent the 60-day temporary restraining order it issued against Meralco and ERC.
He said the Court must also compel Meralco to refund consumers who were already billed in December.
Syjuco said the ERC “abused its authority and discretion” in granting the
rate hike, and denied Meralco’s end-users due process.
He said the Meralco, ERC, and other respondents Department of Energy, Philippine Electricity Market Corp., Sem-Calaca Power Corp., Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd., Therma Luzon Inc., San Miguel Energy Corp., South Premiere Power Corp. and Therma Mobile Inc. must be prosecuted “for commission of any market abuse or economic sabotage which brought this highest power rate hike.”
“There was an apparent collusion and connivance among respondents to raise power rate by artificially reducing energy,” Syjuco added.
The Supreme Court has granted Meralco’s plea to include the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., Philippine Electricity Market Corp. and several power suppliers and generation companies as respondents in the case.