THE Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 16 convicted an unlicensed electrician after he was found guilty of tampering an electric meter on Quirino Avenue corner Camus Street in Davao City four years ago.
Charged with violation of the Republic Act 7832, otherwise known as The Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Material Pilferage Act of 1994, is Romeo Obusa Elisan Jr.
In an decision of the RTC Branch 16, Presiding Judge Emmanuel Carpio sentenced the accused to a maximum of eight years and one day, medium period of prison mayor after he was proven guilty.
The decision was handed down on January 26, 2018, Friday.
The court ruled that the evidence presented by the prosecution was appropriate to prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
Evidence showed that Elisan is not a registered electrician, is not connected with the Davao Light Power and Company (DLPC), has no authority to tinker electric meters, and he received payment to tinker with the DLPC's electrical seal.
The court stressed that the accused, who is not an electrician but accepted money to do an electrical job, was caught in flagrante delicto by police operatives through an entrapment operation on October 2, 2014, tinkering and installing jumper wires in the electric meter owned by the DLPC.
"Accused cannot feign ignorance, innocence or good faith. He cannot claim that his acts of opening and tampering an electric meter and installing wires without a sanction would not cause damage to DLPC," Carpio said in the decision.
Carpio said the act of Elisan in tampering the electric meter would interfere with the proper or accurate registry or metering of electric current or otherwise result in its diversion in a manner whereby electricity is stolen or wasted.
"While accused professed innocence by mere denial of his unlawful act of tampering, he was unavoidably unaware that he did everything he can to avoid proving said innocence," Carpio said.
He added that the accused failed to explain why he allowed himself to do an electrical job for a fee when he was not even a registered electrician and is not accredited to install and/or fix, disconnect any electrical equipment or fixture.
DLPC, meanwhile, advised consumers to immediately report any information about the similar modus operandi of unscrupulous electricians. It said that those who will be caught stealing electricity will be facing penalties.