Malacanang maintained that President Benigno Aquino 3rd will not force Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chair Zenaida Ducut to quit her post amid renewed calls by some lawmakers.
Lawmakers from the party-list Akbayan on Thursday asked President Aquino to remove Ducut, noting that the ERC chief “is guilty of gross neglect of duty and incompetence by tacitly approving without the barest hint of due process Meralco’s unprecedented power rate hike.”
However, Presidential Communications Secretary Hermnio Coloma Jr. said that Aquino cannot pressure Ducut to resign, saying that the latter has the right of due process.
“I think, she is not required to leave her post [pending an investigation on high power rate cost],” Coloma said.
“There is a process for such proceedngs. We will abide by the due process and we will give her the opportunity to answer the charges filed against her,” he added
Ducut, who enjoys a fixed term after being appointed by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, is facing graft, malversation and bribery complaints in the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam. She is also under fire for the ERC’s recent approval of electricity rate increases.
The ERC chief has already ignored calls for her to step down. CATHERINE S. VALENTE