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RA 7832: Anti-Electricity and Electric Transmission Lines/Materials Pilferage Act of 1994

RA 7832 allows electric cooperatives multiple remedies consisting of immediate

disconnection of the electric service of the erring consumer, criminal prosecution, and
the imposition of surcharges.

Presumption of illegal use of electricity It applies to the person benefitted by
the illegal use of electricity, and that is the actual electric consumer and not the
registered consumer.
The presumption shall be the basis for the holding of a preliminary investigation
by the prosecutor and the subsequent filing in court of an information.
Witnessed by government representative (Sec.4) It is a requisite that a
personal witnessing and attestation by an officer of the law or by an authorized
ERB representative when the discovery of the circumstance mentioned in Sec.2
is made.
Failure to witness the sealing: In Manila Electric Company v. Macro Textile Mills
MERALCO failed to substantiate its allegation of tampering and pilferage
against the consumer when it never presented the tampered meter switch in
court and submitted instead a simulated switch. He also did not let the
consumer see the wire or witness the sealing of the envelope containing the
Factory defect of the meter In Ridjo Tape and Chemical Corp v. CA,
in electric meters can also result from inherent defect or flaws and not only from
tampering or intentional mishandling.

Sec. 4 provides that possession or custody of electric power transmission
line/material by any person, natural, or juridical not engaged in the
transformation or distribution of electric power, or in the manufacture of such
electric power or transmission line/material shall be prima facie evidence that
such line/material is the fruit of the offense in Sec. 3.
Such line/material may be confiscated from the person in possession, control or
custody thereof.

C. DISCONNECTION OF ELECTRIC SERVICE (Section 6) The presence of any of the
circumstances mentioned in Sec.4(a) shall constitute prima facie illegal use of electricity

Samar II Electric Cooperative, Inc. v. Quijano, GR No. 1444473, April 27,2007
GR No. 126243, January 18, 2002
GR No. 126074
by the person benefitted and shall be the basis for immediate disconnection by the
electric utility after due notice.
Immediate disconnection even without the need for court or administrative
order if the following requisites are present:
i. The owner of the house is or someone acting in his behalf shall have been
caught in flagrante delicto doing any of the acts enumerated in Sec. 4(a)
OR when any of the circumstances so enumerated have been discovered
for the second time.
ii. Presence of cosumers representative
iii. Written Notice or warning of disconnection must be served to the owner
of the house or establishment concerned. IF the disconnection is based on
the discovery for the second time upon any circumstance based in Sec.4, a
written notice or warning must be issued upon the first discorvery.
In flagranre delicto: In Go v. Leyte II Eectric Cooperative Inc.
, it was impossible for
the consumer to have been caught in the act of committing an offense considering that
he was not present during the inspection, nor were any of his representatives at hand;
The presence of a broken seal and a shunting wire in petitioners electric meter will not
suffice to support a finding that petitioner was in flagrante delictosuch circumstances
merely operate as prima facie evidence of illegal use of electricity under Section 4.
Presence of consumers representative: In Manila Electric Company v. Hsing Nan
Tannery Phils.
Upon inspection of the employeers of Manila Electric it was
found that the meters were tampered, thus prompting them to remove it and
replace it with a new one. The consumer were then assessed with a differential
billing. The court held that there was no police officer nor ERB representative
present during the inspection and removal of the alleged tampered meter,
hence, the requirement of the law was not complied with. NOTE: The Court
moreover said that the requirement to have an officer of the law or ERB
representative does not apply only to criminal proceedings because it is only one
of the courses of action to be taken once any of the enumerated circumstance
establishing a prima facie case is discovered.
Differential billing cannot be based on contract: In Quisumbing v. Meralco
provision in the service contract that in the event of stoppage or failure of any
meter he shall be charged with an estimated consumption based upon his use of
current in a similar period of like use. Unfortunately, where there was no basis
for the allegation of tampering, there was likewise no basis in billing for
unregistered electric consumption.
No Writ of Injunction of restraining order FIRST exception: there is a prima facie
evidence that the disconnection of electric service was made with evident bad

GR No. 176909, February 18, 2008
GR No. 178913, February 12, 2009
GR No. 142943, April 3, 2002
faith or grave abuse of authority. Moreover the presence of any of the
circumstance mention in Sec.4(a) shall be the basis for the lifting of any
temporary restraining order or injunction which may have been issued against
an electric utility or cooperative.
Second exception: BOND When in the absence of bad faith or grave abuse of
authority, the electric consumer deposits a bond with the court in the form of a cash or
a cashiers check equivalent to the differential billing.
Exception to second exception: HOWEVER, the electric utility/cooperative may
file a counterbond in order to dissolve such injunction.

ERBs power to order reconnection: As laid down in Manila Electric Company v.
Energy Regulatory Board,
ERB may investigate and ascertain the propriety of the
disconnection due to an alleged vilation of RA 7832. ERB may if factually and legally
justified, order the electric service provider to reconnect power supply and resume


The purpose of the law is to wipe out all conceivable graft and corruption in the public service.
This law punishes both the public official who will receive, directly or indirectly and the private
person who gives, or offer any to give any gift, present or other valuable thing on any occasion
including Christmas.
Included is the prohibition of throwing of parties or entertainments in honor of the official and
employee or his immediate relatives.
In the case Mirriam Santiago v. Vasquez
, there was discussion on the laws application, Thus,
in Criminal Case No. 91-94555 for a violation of P.D. 46, petitioner admits the solicitation of
donations and the giving of the same by those from whom such donations were solicited.
Petitioner justifies the said act by claiming that the donations were not given for her 'personal
use' but for the purpose of the Christmas Party of the Commission on Immigration and
Deportation. Whether this claim would negate the applicability of P.D. 46 would involve an
inquiry into certain facts which could only be ascertained during the trial of the case.
Significantly, petitioner had not denied that the solicitation of said gifts was at her instance, and
that she even scolded a certain Renato Orlanda whom she requested to sign the solicitation

Go v. Leyte II Electric Cooperative, Inc., GR No. 176909, Februrary 18, 2008.
GR. No. 145399, March 17, 2006.
G.R. Nos. 99289-90. January 13,1992.*

letters, but who refused to do so for fear of committing a violation of the law punishing such