Maynilad, Manila Water appeal SC fine over violations of Clean Water Act

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 03 2019 06:03 PM

MANILA - Manila Water Company Inc and Maynilad have appealed the Supreme Court ruling that imposed a fine of P921.5 million for violations of the country's Clean Water Act.

In separate appeals, the 2 water concessionaires decried the high tribunal's order which fined both firms for failing to connect existing sewage lines found in all establishments to the available sewerage system.

Maynilad, in its petition filed Thursday, blasted the fines as "excessive and confiscatory" as it insisted that it should not be faulted for its supposed failure to comply with provisions of the Clean Water Act.

"Maynilad should not be penalized for failure to do something which is undeniably beyond its power to perform, especially when such performance may unduly harm the environment," it said.

The Manny Pangilinan-led firm asked for oral arguments on the issue and a reversal of the top court's ruling thereafter.

"Maynilad should not be faulted, more so penalized, for its supposed failure to comply with an obligation which, under the circumstances, had become legally and physically impossible," it said.

Manila Water, meanwhile, explained that the fine imposed by the Supreme Court should be reduced given that the Ayala-led water concessionaire complied with a portion of the law.

"Manila Water most certainly does not merit to be penalized with the maximum amount allowed by the law as if it had not complied at all with its obligations," it said in its petition filed Wednesday.

"Thus, the penalty imposed against petitioner Manila Water should be reassessed considering its level of compliance vis-à-vis the actual obligation imposed by the law," it added.

Manila Water said it should only be fined P29.4 million as earlier ordered by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for its supposed violations from May 7, 2009 to Sept. 30, 2009.

Like Maynilad, Manila Water asked for a reversal of the high tribunal's ruling and for its case to be referred to the Court of Appeals.