APEC files charges vs 6 power thieves

By Cet Dematera


The Albay Power Energy Corporation (APEC) has charged six persons, including the president of the APEC employees’ organization, for alleged illegal use of electricity in violation of Section 2 (a) of Republic Act 7832 or the Anti-Electricity Transmission Lines/Materials Act of 1994.


Charged before the Tabaco Prosecutor’s Office were: Dexter Brutas, president of the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) Employees Organization (ALEO); Jonathan Bonaobra, Cesar Rago Jr., all residents of Barangay San Lorenzo; Roland Bibon, Maximo Bibon, and Roderoso Buella, of Barangay San Carlos, all in Tabaco City.


Lesley Capus, APEC spokesperson, said that the suspects were caught tapping and connecting electric wires of several households to an electric post, “without the consent of or authority from APEC.”


Capus said the suspects were not APEC employees and not also its accredited contractors.


Capus explained that although ALECO is the franchise holder, but it is APEC that is in-charge of the day-to-day operations of ALECO, including technical, revenue, billing, collections, and consumer welfare.


He clarified that ALECO employees are not employees of APEC.


“And we learned that those charged are no longer connected with ALECO and there is a pending case between them and the ALECO management,” Capus told Bicol Mail.


The suspects were arrested by the combined elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the APEC Special Operations Group while conducting anti-pilferage operations in Tabaco City on Saturday, Nov. 28.


“We are very thankful to concerned consumers and stakeholders who reported this kind of activities being undertaken by unscrupulous individuals in many parts of the province,” Capus said.


Capus reminded the consumers not to accommodate the electricity services being offered by any individual or group who are not authorized personnel or contractors of APEC.


“Also, APEC personnel such as linemen, meter readers and those involve in disconnection activities are not allowed to ask payment from consumers for their services and purchase of any electricity items,” Capus said, adding that “any financial transactions concerning electricity services should only be done at APEC business centers and offices.”


The APEC spokesperson also gave assurance that APEC in coordination with the local government units and the PNP, “will continue its crackdown of illegal electricity users and sellers who exploits our hapless consumers, and cause us to suffer in paying our huge system losses.”


Capus said that the APEC’s system loss remains high, ranging from 17 to 19 percent, which translates to an annual loss of some P680-million.