Iloilo guv to personally draft class suit vs NGCP

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Jr.

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor 

Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. is keen on pushing for a class suit against the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines following the massive power outage that crippled the economy of Iloilo in early January.

“I will be actively participating in the drafting. I want to draft that complaint. I want to write that complaint,” Defensor said in a press conference on Wednesday.

“What is important is that we file the right case. We are developing that right now,” he added.

The class suit will be pursued in collaboration with the city government of Iloilo.

It can be noted that the City Legal Office and the Provincial Legal Office on Tuesday convened to discuss the legal actions they will take and the evidence they will gather to support the case.

It was revealed that the legal offices intend to file a Petition for Mandamus with the Regional Trial Court.

“We are dividing the work, we are tasking,” Defensor said.

Prior to this legal coordination, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas met with representatives from the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-Iloilo Chapter and the heads of law schools in Iloilo City to discuss the possibility of them joining the city and the province in the class suit against the NGCP.

The city mayor has since then urged energy regulating bodies and lawmakers to “crack the whip” on the NGCP following the power blackout that hit Panay Island.

The estimated economic losses from the recent outage were P2 billion for the city and P3.737 billion for the province.

On his part, Defensor said that someone has to be “[vindicated to] the damage that has been done to our people in the province and the city, and the whole of Panay.”

He also expressed openness to other local government units joining the lawsuit.

The provincial board of Capiz on Wednesday, in a meeting on Wednesday, is considering filing a resolution to hold someone accountable for the power outage which resulted in an estimated economic loss of P552 million.

The Department of Energy said that Panay Island has a stable supply of electricity despite the Negros and Panay sub-grid experiencing an unscheduled power interruption due to the unplanned outage of one of the major power plants on January 17.