Three indicted for theft of a distribution transformer

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 17 convicted three employees of a local electrical contractor in Davao City that provides services to Davao Light and Power Co., Inc. (Davao Light) after they were found guilty of theft of a distribution transformer six years ago.

It was on January 12, 2015, when the accused, namely: Harley P. Canon, Wilfredo A. Alcoriza, and Rolan A. Alcoriza, employees of LSB Electrical Services, were seen removing a transformer from a pole along Km. 10, Sasa, using equipment and tools prescribed by Davao Light, and then loaded it at the back of the boom truck owned by the contractor and used for servicing the utility requirements. The witness, a Davao Light employee, chanced upon the trio who acted suspiciously, observed them, and was able to take videos and still photos of them in the act of committing the crime as they cooperated and contributed together in removing the transformer while attached to an electric pole of the utility.

All three accused in their defense, while admitting that they indeed removed the transformer owned by Davao Light, argued that they were authorized to do so. They could not explain, however, what happened to the transformer that they removed, claiming instead that it must have been stolen from the yard of their employer.

The trial judge was not convinced.

Company records showed that no work order was issued to them. The contractor, LSB Electrical Services, through its technical representative in charge of receiving work orders from Davao Light also testified for the prosecution and confirmed that there were no work orders issued for the removal of the transformer. The three accused also admitted on cross-examination that they did not report their removal of the transformer so that they could be compensated for the service if indeed it was authorized.

Other evidence supplied by LSB further established that after notices to explain were issued to them upon the complaint of Davao Light, the three accused went AWOL and were dismissed. While they contested their dismissal, the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) in Davao and Cagayan de Oro affirmed the legality of their dismissal from service, also on the same grounds for which they were convicted, theft.

In the decision of Judge Carpio, the trio was also ordered to pay the value of the stolen transformer which is worth around P107,000.00 to Davao Light.

Davao Light President and COO Rodger S. Velasco warned its contractors and their employees against condoning or committing theft and other similar acts against the company. “Having these perpetrators duly charged for the crime they committed six years ago is Davao Light’s triumph. We do not condone these acts and we continue to be vigilant. We also call on our customers and our partner contractors to report to us any unlawful acts being committed against the company. We are steadfast in our resolve – those found guilty must answer for their crimes,” said Velasco. (PR)