MANILA - The Court of Appeals (CA) has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the suspension of 4 officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).
ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera confirmed Friday that the commissioners secured a 60-day TRO from the CA, staying the order for their one-year suspension.
The Ombudsman last December suspended ERC Commissioners Alfredo Non, Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc, Josefina Patricia Asirit, and Geronimo Sta. Ana for allegedly excluding the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and other firms from a competitive selection process (CSP) meant to “elicit the best price” for consumers.
The Ombudsman had found the officials administratively liable for "conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service aggravated by simple misconduct and simple neglect of duty."
Malacañang wrote to ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera in January to implement the suspension order.
Devanadera, who assumed the post in November, had said the suspension of the 4 officials could cause massive blackouts in different parts of the country as it would be impossible for the commission to hold meetings as a collegial body to resolve pending cases.
Around P1.58 trillion worth of projects and applications remain pending, and failure to act on these will "paralyze" the ERC and the power sector, she earlier said.