‘Ducut should resign’

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If there’s anyone who should resign pronto, it should be Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman Zenaida Ducut and not Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, according to lawmakers who were enraged over the record power rate increase that the ERC approved early this month.

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“If there’s anyone who should resign pronto, it’s Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Zenaida Ducut,” Antonio Tinio, the House Deputy Minority leader, said.

The ERC drew flak when it allowed the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to impose an unprecedented P4.15 per kilowatt-hour rate hike because of successive outages of power plants.

The militant group Juan Manggagawa also called for the resignation of Ducut and Philippine Electricity Market Corp. head Mel Ocampo.

“Ducut and Ocampo are in the frontline and supposed to be the first persons to detect market failure and protect consumers’ welfare stood idle before the coming tsunami of power hikes. Therefore, they should go,” the group said in a statement.

“They should go based on the principle of command responsibility. At the least, they allowed the electricity market to be gamed, and at the most, they are a party to the reported collusion among power firms,” it added.

The Supreme Court last week issued a temporary restraining order stopping the ERC and Meralco from collecting higher rates in January.

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