By Manuel L. Morato
Just a couple of nights before we were subjected to goonery and harassment last Friday, January 15, 2021, an evening or two before, it was announced by ANC television that Meralco is extending its deadline for disconnections to February. But our neighborhood was subjected to extreme harassment by the crew of Meralco “cutters” all over our Scout area; and maybe in other places as well.
We were made to understand by the Meralco spokesman who came out on ANC evening news a couple of nights before this happened that the deadline for disconnection has been extended to the end of February. I breathed in great relief, as all those who heard the announcement on television.
What went wrong? On Friday morning (January 15) at about 11:00 A.M. “a Meralco cutter” was harassing my guards in the guardhouse that he is going to cut the electric service for the entire building.
The guard was panicking and rang me in the penthouse that a man from Meralco is insisting to cut the electricity of the entire building. I talked to him and at first he was insistent and arrogant.
Kinausap ko kung bakit ginagawa nila yan ng biglaan. Wala daw siyang magagawa. Order daw po ng nakakataas. I was really pissed off because I was just appealing to get down to my office to tell my accountant to immediately pay in the Kamuning Branch of Meralco.
Sometime ago, I’ve been told that the Meralco “meter readers” and “cutters” of lines are contracted by Meralco to another company. Siguro para kung may masama mang mangyari, labas ang Meralco diyan sa kung ano mang kawalanghiyaan pag-maltrato sa mga customers. In other words, labas ang Meralco executives sa kung anong kawalanghiyaan man ang gawin nong mga “strikers” nila. Ang sagot nga sa akin: “Wala po kaming magagawa at yan po ang utos ng aming boss,” kung sino man yon.
On my part, I actually was able to persuade the guy sent to my building to cut the Meralco services. I spoke to him and told him to “please give my secretary time to pay the bills with you for my accountant cannot follow your online billing because neither can I for we are both not computer literate. Pag hard copy naman ang billing, late na pag dumating. “Makisama ka naman.” I learned later on the day that the homes in the entire street in Scout Gandia, our neighborhood, were all being subjected to harassment – house to house, some household ladies were crying and begging to give them time to pay. Most probably they are waiting for their husbands to get their salaries that day. Why doesn’t Meralco schedule such brutalities NOT on a payday? Not on Friday either. Maybe mid-week is a better time to harass your defenseless clients.
Alam ba ng Meralco kung gaano kalaki ang gambalang ginagawa nila? When my secretary rushed to pay in the Meralco Edsa/Kamuning branch, the place was packed-full of people, all paying at the same time. The branch near Pantranco was also full of customers as well.
That commotion could have been avoided as we are told to keep the practice of distancing.
What happened is the opposite. The Meralco branches were all full of people like sardines.
Mantakin ninyo ang pahirap na ginawa ng Meralco last January 15, Friday.
Ano ba ang mapapala nila by harassing and persecuting its end-users or electric consumers? Captive clients ninyo kaming lahat. Hindi naming puwedeng takbuhan ang MERALCO. We are all chained to Meralco like slaves, like it or not.
Imagine being harassed on a Friday and payroll day pa naman. May nagsumbong sa akin na may isang amo ng bahay sa Barangay Laging Handa na bumunot na ng baril sa pananakot nong Meralco “cutter.”
Meralco should have some common sense, not to treat homeowners like criminals. Imagine a Friday so that consumers cannot ask for a day to pay for that would fall on a weekend with no bank to run to withdraw on a weekend.
Why the gestapo tactic? Was there a need for that in these times of great difficulties with the pandemic we are all in together?
To whoever is the head or top executive of Meralco who gave the gestapo-type order to harass all those indebted to Meralco: Didn’t you even consider that there are sick people inside many residences due to the illnesses the people are subjected to so many kinds of illnesses they suffer from?
Hindi naman kayo tatakbuhan ng consumers. Captive clients kaming lahat. We, all of us, cannot run away sa utang sa Meralco. What are you so scared about? You’ve milked the people for decades and for one serious pandemic you could not give some consideration? Remember it’s a phenomenon of a lifetime. All of us are in this together and remember the young babies and children who suffer from heat. Not even an electric fan can be made available to them, pag pinutulan ninyo ng ilaw.
Put a heart in your company. Pasalamat kayo na you are part of the few in the world whose services is totally private. Public utilities must be in the hands of the government not in the hands of private corporations, that are milking the citizenry and abusing them as well. Public utilities are meant to benefit the public at large, not for the benefit of a few to enrich themselves.
I know practically all of the Lopezes. But Doña Marikit comes closest to my heart. She often called on me to help her with the project in Jaro of setting up a Boy’s Town as I was then the President of the Manila Boys Town, Girls Home, Home for the Aged and the Foundling Home for the abandoned young children in Parang, Marikina. I spent 18 years of my life attending to all the orphans and the aged.
With me were some close friends such as Rose Sobrepeña, Terry Harper, Etta Mendez and a few others who worked our heads off in caring for the aged, the orphan boys and girls; and abandoned young children.
That’s where I came from when President Cory asked me to take over the MTRCB as Chairman. And she was not wrong, looking back why she chose me.
The film industry was full of lewd film, sex films called “Bomba Films,” “Penekulas”… and President Cory must have thought that I would fight the bomba producers to protect our young children from its terrible effects on their minds; and the country as a whole for no country can succeed that is subjected to porno materials, warping the minds of the citizenry. Their sense of values become distorted.
A nation with polluted minds can never do things right. It cannot be a great nation because when its people are weak on morals, nothing good can possibly succeed. Many mistakes will be committed to the detriment of the entire nation.
* * * *
I, for one, am extremely bothered why witnesses in Court called to sit in the witness stand are no longer required to swear on the Bible for it can help reduce “witnesses” from lying. People who believe in God would at least think twice not to offend God. The Muslims should be made to swear on the Koran to give respect to Allah.
Without the swearing on the Bible, people put in the witness stand resort to lying for the system is conducive for them to lie for they don’t care lying to an enemy. But swearing on the Bible puts Our Almighty God in the Center.
Swearing on the Bible must be returned. Include the Judges, Fiscals, Prosecutors… to do the same in deciding cases; or go to hell for not being honest; and for hurting the innocent people with their wrongful decisions.
For comments and suggestions email at firstname.lastname@example.org