Palace blasts 4 ERC execs for seeking to void suspension order

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 19 2018 11:00 AM

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MANILA - Malacañang on Tuesday criticized 4 Energy Regulatory Commission officials for seeking the nullification of a 3-month suspension order against them.

"Malinaw ang sinabi ni Presidente d'yan... dapat matagal na silang nagbitiw, pero talagang mga parang kapit sa kapangyarihan," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque told radio DZMM.

(The President has been very clear that should have resigned long ago, but it seems that they are clinging to power.)

The Office of the Ombudsman suspended ERC officials Alfredo Non, Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc, Josefina Patricia Magpale-Asirit and Geronimo Sta. Ana for "neglect of duty" after power consumers failed to earn interest from a bill deposit fund.

The ERC commissioners on Monday filed a 41-page petition before the Court of Appeals in a bid to overturn their suspension.

The terms of 2 of the suspended executives will end in July, noted Roque.

"Hindi ko po maintindihan kung bakit pa sila kakapit sa kanilang katungkulan e ilang tulog na lang naman wala na sila," he said.

(I can't understand why they are clinging to their post when they are set to step down soon anyway.)

President Rodrigo Duterte, he said, has picked replacements for the 4 officials.

The same officials had secured a temporary restraining order against a separate 1-year suspension suspension in 2017 for allegedly allowing power utilities to skirt the required bidding process for energy agreements.

The House good government committee, which investigated the issue, will send the Court of Appeals on Wednesday a copy of its findings against the ERC officials, said panel chairman Johnny Pimentel.

"Very clear na pinaboran nila 'yung mga nag-apply sa power supply agreements," the Surigao del Sur representative said in a separate DZMM interview.

(It was very clear that they favored those applying for power supply agreements.)