OSG petitions Supreme Court to nullify CA injunction order on Meralco-SMC power deal

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has urged the Supreme Court to invalidate the Court of Appeals’ (CA) injunction order pertaining to the 2019 power supply agreement between Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and San Miguel Corp. (SMC).

This move comes as the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) filed a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court on June 23, seeking to annul the CA 13th Division’s resolutions issued on April 3, 2023, and January 25, 2023.

The said resolutions granted injunctive relief to South Premiere Power Corporation (SPPC), a subsidiary of San Miguel Corp., thereby halting the ERC from enforcing its September 29, 2022 order that denied SPPC’s motion for an electricity price increase in its power supply agreement (PSA) with Meralco.

In response, the OSG filed a petition with the Supreme Court, accompanied by a plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or writ of preliminary injunction.

The OSG contends that the CA 13th Division exhibited “grave abuse of discretion” by giving due course to SPPC’s case despite significant procedural defects, including the absence of a required motion for reconsideration within the ERC and the improper use of a petition for certiorari instead of pursuing an appeal, which would have been the appropriate course of action.

It further pointed out that only the SC has the authority to issue injunctions over the implementation of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or EPIRA Law.

Moreover, the OSG argued that the CA 13th Division exceeded its authority when it instructed SPPC and Meralco to engage in renegotiations for their PSA.

According to the OSG, the CA Division’s order violated the mandates of the Department of Energy and the ERC, both of which are the agencies responsible for implementing the laws and regulations related to PSAs.