An unlicensed electrician in Davao City was sentenced recently to suffer imprisonment of a maximum of eight years in jail after the court found him guilty of tampering an electric meter of the Davao Light and Power Company, Inc. (DLPC).
The accused is Romeo Obusa Elisan Jr., who was found guilty of violating Section 79 (a) of Republic Act No. 7832, otherwise known as “Anti-electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994”, in an 11-page decision handed down by Judge Emmanuel C. Carpio of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 16.
In the decision promulgated last January 19, 2018, Judge Carpio sentenced accused Elisan “to suffer the Indeterminate Sentence ranging from Two (2) Years, Four (4) Months and One (1) Day, medium period of Prision Correccional as minimum to Eight (8) Years and One (1) Day, medium period of Prision Mayor, as maximum.
The case stemmed from the arrest of Elisan during an entrapment operation set up by the Davao City San Pedro Police Station on October 2, 2014, wherein the accused was caught in the act of tampering an electric meter after receiving P10,000 in marked money from a retired police officer who posed as “customer.”
The prosecution presented 10 witnesses, while the accused presented himself as witness in the trial.
In a statement, the management of Davao Light advised its customers to immediately report any information about a similar modus operandi of unscrupulous electricians, saying that those caught stealing electricity face the prospects of penalties such as paying the cost of stolen electricity and worse suffer imprisonment if charged criminally.
It also informed customers that electricity pilferage is dangerous as it could lead to electrocution and fire incidents which happened many times in the past.