‘People’s heroes’

INTERCOURSE | Rhoderick Maquirang TecsonThe power distribution power play in Iloilo City is fast going out of the original issues raised by the so-called movers who immediately declared themselves heroes of the Ilonggos after the House and Senate-initiated franchise hearings which were clearly manipulated by Enrique Razon, the owner of More Minerals Corporation (MMC). MMC is a mining company immediately mutated into More Electric and Power Corporation (MORE) upon instructions of the members of the National Unity Party (NUP) congressmen.NUP is a party owned and funded by Razon of which the chairman of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez is a member.

Very recently, the unilateral social media war of these “people’s heroes” turned into a colorful credit grabbing tug-of-war between them and prominent lawyer Romeo Gerochi of the Freedom From Debt Coalition who ten years earlier launched a steep legal fight againts Panay Electric Company (PECO) on the issues of overcharging that won and resulted to the refund of at least P631 million which is to date being served by the power distribution utility of Iloilo City.

One can tell by reading the posts of Gerochi how the group of Atty. Joshua Alim pissed him bigtime when they claimed to have fought a lonely battle againts PECO and how the David in them slayed the Goliath in PECO after the latter’s franchise renewal bill failed to move at the lower chamber of Congress and instead entertained and approved the franchise application of MORE.

In fairness to the “people’s heroes” group of Atty. Joshua Alim, they too have initiated a fight. They attacked the indifference of PECO and its owners to the cry of the people. They pushed for consumer welfare and protection. By the letters, it was a valid attempt. By intention and motive, only the people of the city can tell though. Alim is running for the congressional post of the city. Gerochi asked Alim to state any case he filed against PECO.

The dark success of More in securing their franchise has been claimed by the “people’s heroes”. It is according to them an unprecedented success in their fight against PECO. But, where is the protection clause against indifference and consumer welfare? The end of PECO’s franchise is coming near this January. Has More started initiating formal talks with the “people’s heroes” and the people of Iloilo City?

We are changing PECO as our power distributor because its owners are “Katsila” and therefore arrogant and oblivious of the people’s complaints. And so goes the mantra of the “people’s heroes”. What about More? Is Enrique Razon not “Katsila”? If Razon and More wanted to serve Iloilo City, they could have shown already, at least, sincerity by presenting their plans to the people of Iloilo City. What is now the assurance of Razon and the “people’s heroes” that they will not be like PECO?

Alim wanted a 4 to 6 months transition from PECO to More. Its fearless of Alim but any individual knowledgeable of the dynamics of the power industry will laugh at him and eventually ignore him. It is only applicable if PECO will not put up a fight and will surrender their assets to MORE voluntarily. What if PECO won’t? What is the brilliant proposal of the “people’s heroes?”

Recently they are charging PECO of blackmail that if its franchise expires there will be blackouts. Wrong. PECO cannot simply do it. However, because of the failure of MORE to present a clear timeline on how they will start its operations considering the fight of that PECO will put up, the investors who have timelined 2019 as their entry schedule have started calling off their investments. We can only hope that the “people’s heroes” who are claiming the credit for dislodging PECO and allowing MORE to come in can explain this to the people of the city

Instead of starting the serious discussions to move on from their “win” in order to ensure that More a totally alien company from the dynamics of Iloilo City will do business giving priority to its consumers, the “people’s heroes” are too occupied claiming credits and attacking the likes of Gerochi who to date is probably laughing in his office while agitating and irritating them with his cryptic FB posts.

It’s funny. The “people’s heroes” are so busy claiming the credit. A noble intention does not need to be claimed as it is given from the heart and accepted in silence by the people from their hearts. They keep on reminding people that it was them who instigated the coup and that the people are indebted to them. Why the need to remind the people?

And so the fight for the people’s welfare and the arrogant PECO is dimming as the movers are busy making themselves shine.