Year 1999 Manila, Philippines passed the Anti Pilferage law.
This was to address the concern of the government to end illegal connection of electric which is prevalent that time.
It is a social reality that there are those living in shanties near the rail road, river banks and other private lots. Many of those structure I mentioned were mostly having electric powers illegally. They put jumpers from electric post .
Many of them have small appliances and electric lights connected illegally by people who collected money for their services. Electricity is a need,
This issue of electrification was there for a long time but solution is not there.
When this Law was passed, people from Meralco send some survey per household for possible electrification.
After collecting all the data on electric consumption per household, they came back for a meeting as the gathered together suddenly police cooperative showed up and pick them up loading them in van and book them on the anti pilferage law.
Each family were charge base on the usage / consumption of electricity based on number of years and appliances they used.
No much help is there since people are afraid they will be incriminated as well. This was a very hot issue. The men and the ladies, young and old were send among the jail inmates in the city. They are not hardened criminals why are they not separated from the inmates.
They seek my helped and met with the Police Chief to get the whole picture of what needs to be done.
People was put in jail and was asked by the court to post bail which is paid by bond worth P3,000.00 for their temporary release.
It’s hard for those people working as tricycle drivers, carpenters, plumbers, fish vendors, housemates to get that kind of money.
Theres was some chaos, people don’t know what to do.
People was scared for another round up by the police, aggravated with financial problem.s
The Barangay council and the officers of the PNR community raised funds, donations to augment funds needed for the release of the families.
I could still recall one peace officer “Tanod” of the community asking for help, he is afraid of being assaulted up by inmates he send to jail.
Children was affected about their parents in jail and getting sick.
The first hearing was heard in court with a legal representative from the Urban poor.
This lawyer was given a small payment from money collected in the area.
Each case is different, there was P30,000. and some P10,000 .
I went to some friends from the corporate office of Maralco.
The corporate secretary who was a partner on community program we have in Makati YMCA for out of school youth assisted us with their legal Department.
They allowed us to settle all cases for P5,000.00 provided they will have a legal connection on the area. The case run for about a month.
On the final judgement of the court case was dismissed upon payment of P 5,000.
.The court allowed me to represent them as their attorney.
It was one of the happiest moment of my life seeing joy in their eyes. Our sacrifices paid off, all of them cheering, shouting from the court corridors to the street.
Shout of freedom. Thanking Jesus.
2nd phase Program for electrification.
Meet with people from Meralco and the city engineering office to discuss power meter installation.
Support from the City and Public officials was poured in to finish this program on time.
As a councilor of that village, we created an urban development committee to improved data collection and mapping for the area.
The houses got lighted, the children were able to study not with candles anymore.
A happy day for everyone,
Presently the program for the poor continued and was so elated about it.
Thanks to the continued support by our parish.
Programs for the poor continued.
Thank be to God