Illegal connection theory rejected in Philippine case

Jumper Cables

Quezon City, Philippines — (METERING.COM) — July 3, 2006 – The Supreme Court in the Philippines has today imposed a penalty fine against the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), saying that the company wrongfully accused the owner of two small factory owners and three residential units of installing an illegal connection with jumper leads.

Meralco was fined an amount of P50,000 (US$950) to cover exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.

The Supreme Court, adding to a previous Court of Appeals judgment, declared that “all the Meralco inspector would have to do upon reading the meter is to look up and see the alleged jumpers. It is difficult to believe that the respondents would have installed such a visible contrivance”. Further adding to Meralco’s legal battle was a lack of evidence for the utility’s claim that the “differential bill” as a result of the illegal connection amounted to P1.81 million (US$34,600).