LAOAG CITY—A power company is coughing up P5 million to compensate the family of a 6-year-old boy who lost his right arm after he suffered from electric shock from a power line near his family’s house.
The Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (Inec) board of directors approved the payment in a resolution earlier this month. The measure, however, needs the approval of the National Electrification Administration before Inec could release the amount.
Lawyer Marlon Wayne Manuel, Inec’s legal officer, said the payment is not an admission of guilt but a way of avoiding a costly and tedious court litigation.
“This is merely to buy peace and not, in any way, an admission that Inec was remiss in its duties,” Manuel said.
He said the boy, who is a relative of a city councilor, lost his right arm because it had to be amputated from the elbow after the accident in March this year.
Manuel said the boy accidentally touched a power line that was put up near the porch of the family’s house. He said the line was not energized in the past until Inec was prompted to increase its power voltage and activate the line due to constant complaints of low voltage going to the village where the victim’s family lives.
Before the line was activated, the boy was used to playing in their porch and would normally play with the dead power line as a matter of routine, Manuel said.
Apparently, the boy or his parents were not aware that the line had been energized when the victim went on to play.
Manuel said Inec officials initially declined to enter into a compromise settlement when the victim’s lawyer demanded a P15-million compensation.
“We were ready for a court battle and to show that there was a contributory negligence on the part of the parents,” he said. Cristina Arzadon, Inquirer Northern Luzon