A blog link shared on Facebook (FB) insinuates that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and SAGIP Partylist Rep. Rodante Marcoleta have signed a directive to close down the Manila Electric Company (Meralco). It is false.
On Sept. 19, multiple FB pages and groups reposted a blog link with a thumbnail bearing the text: “Sawakas! Pirmado na. Ito ang Matinding Pasabog ni Marcoleta PBBM. Goodbye! Meralco.” (Finally! It’s signed. This is Marcoleta PBBM’s big revelation. Goodbye! Meralco.”
The post likewise bore the headline: “JUST IN: HALA! PRES MARCOS CONG. MARCOLETA BABANG-GAEN ANG OLIGARKO/ MAHAL na KURYENTE TINULDOKAN NA.” (JUST IN: HALA! PRES MARCOS CONG. MARCOLETA WILL GO AGAINST THE OLIGARCH/ HIGH ELECTRICITY PRICES ARE OVER.).
Below the graphic is an embedded 12-minute video of news clips on the 2023 budget deliberations and Marcoleta’s old interview about reviewing Meralco’s franchise.
Nowhere in the video does it present any evidence of a signed order for a Meralco shutdown.
The President has not signed anything related to the operations of the electric power distributor. Marcos only aims to amend the Electric Power Industry Reform Act to bring down electricity costs, which is part of his administration’s legislative agenda.
The blog post surfaced two weeks after the Energy Regulatory Commission’s (ERC) congressional budget hearing, where Marcoleta questioned the commission about Meralco and other power generation companies’ petition to raise electricity rates. ERC Chairperson Monalisa C. Dimalanta said they are still evaluating and have not decided on the application.
In Nov. 2021, Marcoleta called for a review of Meralco’s legislative franchise over allegations of overcharging during the pandemic.
Marcoleta and Rep. Caroline Tanchay filed House Resolution No. 31 on July 6, seeking a probe into conflicting power purchase data disclosed by Meralco and for possible violations of its legislative franchise. The resolution remains pending before the Committee on Energy.
Twenty one FB groups, including Rodante Marcoleta for Senator (created on May 27, 2022) and 19 FB pages like Bbm-Sara Uniteam Official 2022 (Jan. 14, 2022), shared the blog link by Global Balita PH. The FB posts have garnered 1,117 total interactions, according to the social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.