Group to appeal power ruling

Group to appeal power ruling

A CONSUMER group said on Wednesday that it would file an appeal before the Supreme Court (SC) to question the decision rendered by the 13th Division of the Court of Appeals (CA), which paves the way for raising electricity rates.

“We will take this matter to the Supreme Court,” Gerry C. Arances, convenor of People for Power Coalition (P4P), said in a statement.

Mr. Arances was referring to the CA’s upholding of its decision that had voided the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) denial of an application for a power rate hike.

The ruling of the ERC, promulgated on Sept. 29, 2022, had denied the rate hike petition jointly filed by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and San Miguel Global Power Holdings Corp., the power arm of San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

But in a resolution promulgated on June 27, the CA granted the motion for certiorari filed by San Miguel Energy Corp. (SMEC), now Sual Power, Inc., and South Premiere Power Corp. (SPCC) annulling and setting aside the ERC’s decision for “grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess jurisdiction.”

The CA’s 13th Division, in a decision dated Dec. 28, 2023, denied the motion filed by the ERC and the National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms, Inc. seeking the reversal of the said decision penned by Associate Justice Charlene Hernandez-Azura.

“We have not yet received a copy of the decision yet. But if it is indeed adverse, we will discuss with OSG (Office of Solicitor General) the basis for taking the case up for review of the Supreme Court,” ERC Chairperson Monalisa C. Dimalanta said in a Viber message.

In a separate disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, Meralco and SMC said that they have yet to receive a copy of the resolution issued by the CA and will provide an update upon receipt. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera