REGIONAL Trial Court (RTC) Branch 7 Presiding Judge Cecilia Corazon S. Dulay-Archog has ordered China Savings Bank, Inc. to unfreeze Benguet Electric Cooperative’s (BENECO) account and pay obligations to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
“The plaintiff China Savings Bank Inc, is hereby directed to process and allow the withdrawal by BENECO in the amount of P45,724,054.85 from its account with plaintiff bank to be utilized for the payment of BENECO’s obligation to NGCP,”Judge Archog ordered in her decision.
The order comes as BENECO is facing a potential disconnection from the power grid over unpaid dues to the NGCP, which operates the grid and provides power to BENECO and all other distribution utilities in the country.
Judge Archog’s decision was a result of Civil Case No. 9502-R filed by China Bank Savings Inc. versus the camps of BENECO General Manager Melchor S. Licoben and Atty. Omar Mayo of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and Atty Ana Maria Paz B. Rafael.
“Pending resolution of the Court of Appeals on who is the duly appointed general manager of BENECO, BENECO will submit its power bills and obligations due to its power suppliers accompanied by supporting documents to the Court, then the court shall issue an Order directing the plaintiff bank to process and allow withdrawal of funds for payment of BENECO’s obligations, the Court hereby grants the motion,” Judge Archog’s order said.
Licoben’s camp is mandated to provide proof of payment for the NGCP bill within three days of payment.
BENECO’s financial difficulties started when banks froze their accounts over the leadership conflict between Licoben and Rafael’s camps which saw the BENECO headquarters forcibly taken over in October of 2021.
BENECO still has unpaid obligations to its power supplier TEAM Energy.