Mayor Geronimo is pissed off with PECO

OOPS, Panay Electric Co. or PECO did it again!

After they managed to get the ire of 99.9 percent of the natives of “I Am Iloilo City” with their almost lackadaisical way of handling a recent two-day blackout, they capped their “magnificent” performance by finally getting the ire of “I Am Iloilo City” mayor Geronimo.

This actually came as a surprise to Moi and perhaps to most of the natives of “I Am Iloilo City” as Mayor Geronimo, sometime in his life, was once a lawyer for PECO. But I suppose all things must pass.

And PECO not only pissed off “I Am Iloilo City” Mayor Geronimo. They also got him enraged and managed to acquire his wrath, and most natives know it is not healthy to piss him off. Remember the now almost forgotten Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc. or IDFI or that city hall flag ceremony laced with invectives and a taste of the good mayor’s fist?

So PECO channeled the inner Duterte and Manny Pacquiao of “I Am Iloilo City” mayor Geronimo. It’s probably a good thing he did not challenge PECO’s Marcelo Ugarte Cacho (you know, the guy with the almost impressive job title) to a few rounds of boxing, at least not just yet.

Just how pissed off is Mayor Geronimo? Here are excerpts from the Nov. 11, 2019 issue of Panay News:

NO BUSINESS PERMIT

City gov’t to auction P90-M PECO assets

The city government will be holding a public auction for P90-million worth of assets of Panay Electric Co. (PECO) on Dec. 12. According to Mayor Jerry Treñas, this is the city government’s legal step against the power distributor for refusing to pay long overdue real property taxes.

The unpaid real property taxes go back to two past city administrations, said Treñas. Multiple demands for payment were made but these went unheeded.

These resulted to the nonrenewal of PECO’s permit this year, said Treñas.

Norman Tabud, head of the Business Permits and Licensing Office, confirmed his office has yet to issue PECO a business license to operate for 2019.

According to Treñas, he also got enraged by the statement of Marcelo Cacho, administrative manager of PECO who shrugged off incidents of post fires throughout the city.

The safety and security of the people of Iloilo City and the damage to government property are not small matters, he stressed in an interview over DyFM Bombo Radyo Iloilo.

PECO is under investigation by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) following Treñas’ complaint over rising incidents of electricity pole files due to ageing and overloaded transformers.

The ERC asked the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to provide a report on incidents of safety violation because of PECO’s electricity pole fires.

Aside from the ERC, Treñas also asked the Presidential Complaint Center to conduct an investigation.

The Iloilo City Fire Marshal and BFP reported that in three days alone from Oct. 19 to 21, seven PECO electricity poles caught fire either due to exploding transformers or severed transmission lines.

An average of 28 pole fires takes place in Iloilo City every month, or almost 300 incidents every year, according to the BFP.

“Only electricity wires, either damaged or overloaded, can cause fire, not telephone or cable television wires,” BFP told ERC during a recent hearing.  

Currently, a group from the ERC is inspecting dilapidated distribution lines of PECO and verifies Treñas’ complaint.

So PECO is operating a business in “I Am Iloilo City” without a business permit and an expired franchise… anything else to add to their portfolio?

Wow, how cool is that. If that’s not impunity I don’t know what is?

It makes one wonder how they managed to get away with all this. Is it perhaps because they got the natives, including everyone in city hall, by the balls, holding everyone hostage for almost a century because they have the monopoly as power provider of “I Am Iloilo City”?

I remember when their franchise was about to expire and Congress awarded the franchise to MORE Power; a certain lawyer who claims to be representing PECO was asked in an interview over one of the local radio stations, “What happens when PECO’s franchise expires a few days from now?” and his reply was, “The city will plunged into blackout” or something to that effect.

It was a classic reply with extreme impunity almost at par with Marcelo Ugarte Cacho’s speculation that the recent two-day blackout was caused by” sabotage” with the intent to make PECO look bad.

Really? Was that some kind of joke? ([email protected]/PN)

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