• ‘Deals’ ruled out in ERC director’s death

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    Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman and CEO Jose Vicente Salazar said on Wednesday that there is an apparent attempt by some unscrupulous parties to piggyback on the unfortunate and untimely demise of ERC Director Francisco Villa Jr.

    “This attempt is evident in the insinuation that the death of Director Villa may have also been precipitated by ‘midnight deals’ allegedly inked between a large distribution utility and several power generation companies,” according to a statement.

    “This smacks of opportunism and a blatant attempt to ride on the death of our colleague to advance a parochial agenda,” the statement added.

    “For the record, Director Villa was not and has never been involved in the evaluation of applications for permits and approvals of power supply agreements (PSAs) between distribution utilities/ electric cooperatives and generation companies.

    “That was never Director Villa’s job. That is the responsibility of our Market Operations Service (MOS) and our Regulatory Operations Service (ROS), of which Director Villa has no connection,” Salazar said.

    “I appointed Director Villa as chairman of a bidding committee, the function of which is to procure goods and services, not to evaluate the requirements of power firms. The erroneous insinuation merely proves that there are parties who are more than willing to use his death to suit their own agenda,” he added.

    “May I appeal to these parties to refrain from capitalizing on the death of our colleague,” the ERC chairman said.

    “I have instructed the officials of the ERC to restrain themselves from making any defense in the wake of the many allegations now facing the ERC in the aftermath of Director Villa’s death. I have issued this strict instruction based on the principle that we are not to defend our reputation at the expense of the memory of a dear colleague who served our organization well,” he added.

    “We have left that task totally in the hands of independent third-party investigators,” Salazar said.

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