Three persons caught ‘stealing’ electricity using jumper cables

Jose Valleto, Rolando Dagatantan and Romulo Delapaz

By Jennifer P. Rendon

MORE Electric and Power Corp rued the reality that some consumers will still try to steal electricity despite the cheaper power rates and better customer services in the past two years.

This, as three men were arrested minutes apart for alleged power pilferage early morning of February 18 at City Proper, Iloilo City.

The suspects were identified as Rolando Dagatantan, 55; Romulo dela Paz, 67; Jose Vallejo, 67, all residents of dela Rama Compound in Barangay Zamora Melliza, City Proper district.

Security guards Leo Benjie Limbaga, Ruben Reyes, and Richard Buenafe of Stelsen Security Agency who are detailed to MORE Electric and Power Corp, arrested the suspects.

The three blue guards caught Dagatantan, dela Paz, and Vallejo in the act of pulling and cutting electric jumper cables from their respective houses that were connected to the secondary line of More Power.

Recovered from the trio’s possession and control were assorted wires and cords.

They will be charged for violation of Republic Act 7832 (The Anti-Pilferage of Electricity and Theft of Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Act of 1994).

Records from MORE Power showed that the company sent demand letters 1,460 individuals for alleged power pilferage as of 2021.

Cases were filed against scores of power pilferers while 1,117 individuals have agreed for a settlement or compromise agreement, as of Feb 17, 2022.

MORE Power has reported that it has increased its consumer base from around 60,000 to 83,000 in just two years of operations.

The growth in consumer base is mainly due to the simplified process for new line applications which encourage household that lacked or used illegal connections to go legitimate.

The distribution firm also cracked down on power pilferers with the help of the local government, the police, and the communities as well.