PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — CROSSING party-lines, lawmakers yesterday castigated actress Judy Ann Santos for allowing herself to be used by the Manila Electric Company through radio and television commercials to defend itself against allegations of alleged blatant and wanton overcharging.
Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda “Luz” Ilagan, a teacher by profession, said Santos should have remained a good example to the public and not taken the role of a defender of the “abusive” Lopez-led Meralco management.
“She allowed herself to be the tool of Meralco. She should have known better,” said Ilagan.
Citizens Battle Against Corruption Rep. Joel Villanueva, a son of evangelist Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” Villanueva of Jesus is Lord Movement, said Santos ’ advertisement failed to explain the other side of the story when she defended the so-called “immoral” systems loss which was passed on to consumers.
“The first time hearing it, parang malabo pa rin ang message ni Judy Ann Santos sa radio at television ads on systems loss, hindi masyado na emphasize na hindi niloloko ng Meralco ang tao,” said Villanueva.
Manila Rep. Bienvenido Abante, a bishop of the Bible Mode of the Philippines and chairman of the House committee on public information, vowed to look into possible violations by Santos of the Consumers Protection Act.
“I join these cause-oriented groups in denouncing Judy Ann Santos who I don’t think understands the situation with Meralco. As chairman of the House committee on public information, I will study if she violated the Consumers Protection Act when she appeared to side with Meralco against public interest. This is what money can do,” said Abante, a member of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats.
Marikina City Rep. Marcelino Teodoro, also a member of Lakas-CMD, slammed Santos for her insensitiveness, charging that the meager hard-earned money of consumers is being robbed by the systems loss charges.
Teodoro explained that Santos’ comparison of systems losses to melting ice in the Meralco commercials is unforgivable.
“Meralco consumers have already been cheated, abused and overcharged by a single company. We should be sensitive about this issue simply because the dilemma with systems loss is not just a block of ice that melts, we are talking of millions or billions of pesos shelled (out) by the Filipino public, who barely makes end meet for a service that has not been used,” said Teodoro.
Meralco critics questioned how the actress can explain in 30 to 60 seconds what Meralco cannot explain in hours?