Filtered By: Money

San Miguel Group cites CA independence following Marcos remarks on TRO

San Miguel Group on Monday cited the independence of the judiciary following President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.'s remarks that the Court of Appeals (CA) should reconsider the recent temporary restraining order (TRO) on power supply agreements.

According to San Miguel Global Power, heading to the Court of Appeals is part of its rights to due process as it is among the legal remedies provided for under the Philippine Constitution.

“We recognize and respect the independence of the judiciary as part of our system of check and balance,” San Miguel Group said in an emailed statement.

“We believe that by exercising our constitutional right under the law, we can continue discussions on how to deliver the least cost to the consumers in an objective and impartial manner.”

The CA's 14th Division last week issued a TRO that effectively suspended the power supply agreements between South Premiere Power Corp.(SPPC), San Miguel Energy Corp. (SMEC), and Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

The companies earlier argued that the global increases in fuel and coal prices have driven SPPC and SMEC to incur losses in operating their power stations.

This was denied, however, by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in September, saying that SPPC and SMEC can supply Meralco from other sources.

Stakeholders earlier warned that other sources could translate to an even higher increase than that equivalent to the rate hikes in their petitions.

Marcos over the weekend expressed hopes that the CA would reconsider the TRO, citing the “extremely deleterious effect” on power rates.

In its statement released Monday, the San Miguel Group said it is under the ERC’s responsibility to ensure the last cost of power for consumers, which it should have considered in reviewing the petitions.

“ERC was made aware of the looming power rate hikes,” it said.

“It was also made aware of how it can ensure that the public gets the lowest possible rate while energy players continue to supply power viably amid rising geopolitical risks beyond anybody’s control. Yet, it still chose to look the other way,” it added.

GMA News Online has reached out to the ERC for comment on the matter, but no response has been received as of posting. —KBK, GMA Integrated News