Wed. Sep 22nd, 2021

MANILA – The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday said it will remain objective and independent in ruling on cases pending before it following a party-list lawmaker’s statement that the high court was biased in favor of a party in the ongoing legal debacle between two firms over the Iloilo power distribution contract, where four judges opted to inhibit from the case.

“The Supreme Court is composed of 15 Justices, and its actions are based on the majority vote of the members en banc or of a division. As I said before in previous interviews, decisions of the Supreme Court are always founded on facts, applicable laws, and current jurisprudence.” court spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said in a statement.

“That is how the Supreme Court acts as mandated by our Constitution, and that is why it will always be objective and independent. In the meantime, let us wait for the final resolution of the pending cases,” Hosaka said.

In a statement Sunday, Abang Lingkod Party-list Rep. Joseph Stephen Paduano earlier urged President Rodrigo Duterte to intervene in the row between More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE) and the Panay Electric Company (PECO).

Four judges had inhibited themselves from the case namely Yvette Go (RTC Branch 37), Ma. Theresa Gaspar (RTC Branch 33), Daniel Antonio Gerardo Amular (RTC Branch 35) and Gloria Madero (RTC Branch 29).

The SC earlier turned down PECO’s petition to transfer the expropriation case filed by MORE to any court outside Iloilo City.

The High Court said PECO failed to present “adequate proof that the accompanying publicity may cause prejudice to it”.

It added that PECO “failed to prove that a miscarriage of justice would arise in the event that the subject case continues to be heard in the RTC of Iloilo City.”

The two firms are embroiled in expropriation proceedings initiated by MORE to expropriate the distribution assets of PECO in exchange for about PHP500 million.

MORE is the new distribution utility in Iloilo City after both chambers of Congress ignored PECO’s application to renew its franchise which expired January last year. (iam/

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