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Nothing bars expropriation case vs PECO

There is an ocean of difference between a court issuing a show cause order vis-à-vis a court issuing an order requiring a party to comment on the motion to issue show cause order.

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Iloilo City’s new distribution utility, More Electric and Power Corp. (MORE), on Monday insisted a Court of Appeals ruling that confirmed its power of eminent domain under the law restructuring the country’s electricity power industry remains valid despite a case being heard by the Supreme Court to determine if a Mandaluyong court’s ruling against the company’s power of expropriation as a congressional franchise-holder is constitutional.

MORE said the company that was denied the renewal of its franchise to run Iloilo City’s electricity distribution system, Panay Electric Co. (PECO), also deceived the public in its recent statement the Supreme Court had threatened MORE and the Iloilo City Regional Trial Court with contempt in relation with Judge Yvette Go’s decision allowing the expropriation case against PECO to proceed.

In a statement, MORE said the Supreme Court has yet to grant PECO’s petition to stop the Iloilo City RTC from proceeding with the expropriation case as it only directed his company and the Iloilo City RTC to comment on PECO’s petition.

“To set the records straight, contrary to the claims of PECO that MORE and Judge Yvette Go of Iloilo were directed to show cause why they should not be declared in contempt of court, MORE and Judge Yvette Go were merely required to comment on PECO’s urgent motion for issuance of show cause order,” MORE said.

According to MORE, “there is an ocean of difference between a court issuing a show cause order vis-à-vis a court issuing an order requiring a party to comment on the motion to issue show cause order.”

“Once again, it would appear that PECO mistakenly presumed that its motion was granted when the SC acted on its motion by requiring MORE and Judge Go to file their comments on the motion,” MORE said.

The new Iloilo distribution utility added PECO was also wrong in claiming that the CA did not rule on anything because PECO had already filed a motion for withdrawal of its petition to stop the Iloilo City RTC expropriation case because the rules of court required formal action by the court on such a motion for withdrawal.

“Quite the contrary, it is elementary that a motion is not deemed to have already been acted upon by its mere filing. The petition not being withdrawn, the CA Resolution stands,” MORE said.

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