Palace studying Ombudsman's decision on ERC: Roque

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 22 2017 09:39 AM

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacanang is studying the Ombudsman's decision suspending commissioners of the Energy and Regulatory Commission (ERC) to ensure that operations in the agency will not be disrupted.

"Bagama't ginagalang natin ang desisyon ng Ombudsman at sa tingin ko tama naman ang desisyon na suspendihin sila, pinagaaralan na ng MalacaƱang ang desisyon na yan dahil hindi naman po pwede na habang sila ay suspendido, nakabibin ang mga kaso nila, ay walang desisyong mangyayari dyan sa ERC," Roque told DZMM.

In its resolution, the Ombudsman found Commissioners Alfredo Non, Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc, Josefina Patricia Asirit, and Geronimo Sta. Ana administratively liable for "conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service aggravated by simple misconduct and simple neglect of duty."

This, after they allegedly excluded the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and other firms from a competitive selection process (CSP) meant to "elicit the best price" for consumers.

ERC's former chairman and chief executive officer Jose Vicente Salazar, who was dismissed in October over a corruption case, was meanwhile meted with a fine equivalent to six months of his salary.

But Roque said that ERC Chairman Agnes Devanadera is still there to ensure the daily operation of the agency.

"Pinagaaralan na rin po yung aspeto ng administratibo kung anong pwedeng gawin ng palasyo mismo para di matigil ang operasyon ng ERC," he said.

In the end, Roque said that it is best to let the office of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea study the issue.