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Meralco nearly drove me insane the other night

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MORE precisely its repair crew’s unbelievable incompetence, or negligence, did.

Here’s what happened. The other day, at about 6 p.m., right after a thunderstorm in our village, power conked out in our part of the area. It usually does as Meralco’s corporate philosophy is: don’t fix it if ain’t broke. Never mind if many of the transformers and fuses in the area are over 30 years old and get busted in a severe rain or rush of lightning.

The repair crew did arrive at around 7 p.m., and in fact I would have even written a column praising their efficient system for reporting outages and acting on these, which is even faster than those in the banks that I use.

Meralco’s Indonesian owner. FROM FIRST PACIFIC CO. 2021 ANNUAL REPORT
We have the most expensive electricity in Asia.

About 45 minutes later, power in our house was restored, and I was relieved as I was in the middle of writing the first draft of my column for today. It turned out that was just the start of my nightmare.

Right after I stashed away the candles I had lit, the power went out again. Would you believe, this power-on, power-off episodes happened several times? I asked my daughter who lives in the same street to ask the Meralco crew whom she had contacted for the repair. They said they would be coming back to “double-check” what was wrong as they had already restored power.

Now here’s the worst part of this nightmare. After an hour, power — some — was restored. But then the lights in my house (as well as in other houses in the area) were blinking as if they were disco lights. Two of my refs went off and on several times, as did my TV.

Apparently, those jerks didn’t get to restore the normal 220-volts power, or the kilowatts needed, or whatever the normal power needed by a household is called. All of the lighting in my home, as it is in most homes now, are LED lights, or the “light emitting diodes.” They’re very energy efficient, but they have one problem, it seems: they have a very narrow band of power voltage to operate. If power goes below that, they blink or turn off.

Power on, power off. I didn’t know it at that time, but I was told later that this happens if power delivered from the grid is unsteady or fluctuates way below the total required in a household. Refs and TVs get the power they need, until a point when their total requirements — which fluctuates — fall below what is being delivered by the grid, and so power is totally shut off.

Worse, such power fluctuations, especially the surge in electricity when it comes in, can easily damage the high-tech LED TVs now. Fortunately, my TV sets survived these Meralco incompetence — but not my beloved hi-tech Delonghi coffee maker. Don’t I have the right to claim damages, or at least a brand-new Delonghi from Meralco?

The minutes were turning into hours, that I decided to endure the darkness with some candles, rather than hoping the blinking would stop, that power would be completely restored.

After several double shots of Glenfiddich in the dark though, I was getting more and more angry at Meralco. It wasn’t just the situation that it got me into, in effect immobilizing me to do anything, but the knowledge of several things about Meralco that shame our nation:

1. For a public utility, a strategic one supplying that crucial commodity, electricity, for the political and economic center of our country, and a monopoly at that, Meralco’s ownership structure is an abomination to our nation. Some 45.5 percent of it is owned by Hong Kong-based First Pacific, which in turn is 45.5-percent owned by the Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim, and the rest widely held by US and European investors. Manuel V. Pangilinan owns only about 2 percent, and is in essence Salim’s highly paid manager, despite his very successful PR portraying him as the major owner of the “MVP Group.” The John Gokongwei J.G. Summit owns 29.6 percent. Salim got to take over Meralco in 2012, mostly using the employee benefit funds of another utility firm he got control of through President Estrada’s largesse, PLDT.*

2. We are the only country in Asia which has allowed the crucial power sector to be dominated by private conglomerates, worse by a foreigner.

3. We have the most expensive electricity rates for households in Asia, with our Meralco’s average P8.6 (as of September 2021) double that of the war-ravaged Vietnam’s P4.2. The only explanation for that is that Meralco’s monopoly allows it to impose such high prices.

4. Ownership of an electricity distribution firm is expressly limited to 40 percent by the Constitution. Yet Salim has been able to evade this constitutional rule, because of certain rulings solely by the Securities and Exchange Commission — all of which of can be reversed overnight by that institution’s commission to conform with the Constitution.

5. Because of its monopoly, and because it scrimps on expenses for efficient services – which explains my suffering the other night — Meralco has been an extremely profitable company, earning about P20 billion annually, or P200 billion since 2012. With its 45.5 percent ownership of Meralco, First Pacific therefore has accumulated profits of $2 billion in the past 10 years, $900 million going straight to Salim’s bank accounts.

It was incoming President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s’ father who wrested control of Meralco from the oligarch clan the Lopezes in 1973 when he got them to sell the power firm for P150 million.

Then Defense secretary Juan Ponce Enrile testified in congressional hearings in 2002 that he had two letters from clan patriarch Eugenio Lopez asking the Marcos government to buy it, as it was facing imminent bankruptcy. However, Oscar Lopez, the chairman of the Lopez group at that time, said that the sale was made under duress, as his brother Eugenio Jr. had been arrested and jailed in a maximum-security prison in Fort Bonifacio.

Whichever reason is true, Bongbong will be making history if he wrests control of Meralco from foreigners, and turns it over either to government, to an entity whose owners are the electricity consumers themselves (as Marcos seemed to have envisioned when he set up the Meralco Foundation), or to a consortium of at least patriotic Filipino magnates. At least that would prevent the siphoning of its income out of the country.

*These statements are supported by documents: See my 2016 book Colossal Deception: How Foreigners Control Our Telecoms Sector, available online rigobertotiglao.com/shop, and at amazon.com.

Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Dorina Rojas

    Unfortunately, those satanics can’t keep us blinded forever, they are being exposed now, it’s only a matter of time before they are banished or burned at the stakes.

  2. Gecarl Binongo

    Sir, can you please examine the ancient names of our land… Ophir, Sheba, and Tarshish. Christopher Columbus knew our land. In 1490, a research of Christopher Columbus located Ophir, Tarshish, Garden of Eden and the lost tribes of Israel in SE Asian Isles north of equator. He travelled to the land of gold in westward direction because during his time, the route to eastward direction (africa to Asia) were closed to Christian sailors from Europe, but he stumbled in the land of America, from the movie Christopher Columbus: The Discovery 1992. Even Magellan who already travelled to Malay peninsula under the king of Portugal, set sail again to locate the land of gold in east Indies which he called as Chryse and Argyre in Greek, or Ophir and Tarshish in Hebrew.
    Even the early explorers knew our land:
    1. In 1522, Antonio Pigafetta recorded Philippines as Tarshish and Ophir.
    2. In 1490, a research of Christopher Columbus located Ophir, Tarshish, Garden of Eden and the lost tribes of Israel in SE Asian Isles north of equator.
    3. In March 4, 1521, Sebastian Cabot contract with Spain identifies Tarsis (Tarshish) and Ophir.
    4. In 1600s, Father Colin still refered to Philippines as Ophir and Tarshish.
    5. In 1600s, Dominican Gregorio Garcia located Ophir in the Moluccas and Philippines.
    6. In 1890, former Prime Minister Pedro A. Paterno recorded Ophir as the Philippines.
    7. In 1891, Prof. Bluemmentritt still record Philippines as an ancient Ophir.
    Why was so suddenly, all were forgotten? And we believed from the historical paradigm that we came from 3 migration… Aeta first, then Indo, and Malay.
    Remember what Columbus found in his research, the lost tribes of Israel is in Ophir and Tarshish! Here’s a paasage from Isaiah that pointed to our land, about 60% of Isaiah talked about the Isles, end of the earth, land of creation, Sheba, and Tarshish!
    Isaiah 49:12, “Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim.” The word “north” in this passage is translated as “tsaphon” in Hebrew meaning north or northward. The word “west” here is translated as “yam” in hebrew meaning, “sea’. The word “sea” as “yam” in the scriptures was used more than 320 times while the word “west” as “yam” was used 47 times because west of Yashar’el (Israel) is Mediterannian sea, but “west” itself can be translated to Hebrew as “maarab”. Therefore, “west” can’t be used in this passage, the exact word here is “sea”. Therefore, the correct verse from Isaiah 49:12 is: “Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the sea; and these from the land of Sinim.” The word “Sinim” is equal to “Ciyniym” in Hebrew which means “south China”. Therefore, some of the northern tribes of Yashar’el (Israel) can be found in the isles afar off, to the sea of South China or the South China Sea. Wow! What isles are located in the sea of South China? Simply, the Philippines!
    Here’s another passage from Esdras (in Greek, or Ezra i Hebrew), this book was removed in the bible in 1500, maybe when they finally found our place!
    2 Esdras (4 Ezra) 13:41, “{41} But they took this counsel amongst themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, {42} That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. {43} And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the River. {44} For the Most High then showed signs for them, and held still the flood, til they were passed over. {45} For through that country there was a great way to go; namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called ‘Arsareth’. {46} Then dwelt they there until the latter time.” Some of the northern tribes of Israel migrated to a further country that they might keep their statutes. They cross the Euphrates river like an Exodus, where the water was dried up and the Israelites walked in dry land until everyone passed over. And they went to a country with one and a half year journey and the same region called ‘Arsareth’. A one and a half year journey, that’s too far! It can’t be around the middle east or Africa, it can be somewhere in the far away land. And if we look closely at the word “Arsareth”, it is a combination of two Hebrew words, ‘Asah’ and ‘Ehrets’. Where “Asah” means, to do, work, make, produce and “Ehrets” means, land, earth. Therefore, “Arsereth” means, “to make the earth” or “the land of creation”. Therefore, some of the northern tribes of Israel went to the “land of creation”. This simply refered to our land!
    The word Sebu or Cebu is equated and derived from the Hebrew word SHEBU’AH:SHEBU:SHEBA meaning an Oath:Week:Seven:The First Sabbath. The first 7th day of creation from the land of creation! The seventh (7th) day is the day of oath, Sabbath or Shabbat also known as Shebat or Sebat. Just as this word Sebu leads to Shebu’ah or Shebat or Sebat. This is very interesting because in a 1646 map by Dudley’s Dell Arcano de Mare, Cebu is rendered as “Isle of Sebat”. Cebu simply came from Sheba, the land of the Sebat/Shabbat or Sabbath and not just any Sabbath but the very first one, on the 7th Day of Creation – Shebu’ah. It is the Feast Day which commemorates the first Sabbath/Shabbat. This took place in Sheba which means 7 as well as oath because Shebu’ah, in Hebrew and Pentecost in Greek, is also the Day of Covenant Renewal. And the feast of Covenant Renewal is celebrated every Sabbath on the 1st or 2nd week of June as Shebu’ah or Shavout or Pentecost. Sometimes it falls to our independence day! Coincidence? The first Sabbath written and recorded on an island in the Philippines which still bares such name in Hebrew! What is amazing is, Cebu (Sebu) is in region 7! Coincidence? And Lake Sebu in South Cotabato has 7 waterfalls or Sheba waterfalls, coincidence?
    I think, this is the reason why they obscured our ancient names and rewrite our history! The are the one who enslave us and taught us religion! The power who enslave us never changes, from Spain, it continued to the US, and up to the present times. They are embedded in every corner of our society today! They played with our politics (the Liberals), they played with our economy (the basque jews), the played with our education that chart the course of our younger generation (the Jesuits and RC institutions), they played with our religion who taught us belief system (the RC), they even played with the left (NPA and Moros). This power came from the west! They are the remnants of the Pharisees and Sadducees which are the world wide elites (political, economics, and religious) today! Conclusion: This modern narratives are out to keep us, Filipinos, blinded!

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