• Petilla changes tune on emergency powers call


    ENERGY Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla on Monday clarified that invoking emergency powers for President Benigno Aquino 3rd to address the looming power problem next year will be the government’s last option.

    In a clear change of stance, Petilla declared that the government will exhaust all available means to generate power supply and will resort only to seeking emergency powers for President Aquino” if all else fail.”

    “The government will only invoke Section 71 of Epira Law as a last resort because there are other options [to address the power problem],” he said.

    Section 71 of Epira Law allows Congress to grant the President emergency powers to solve a serious power problem that may directly affect the overall economic and security situation of the country.

    But Congress can only grant the emergency powers if the chief executive invokes the same.

    It was Petilla who recommended that the President invoke emergency powers amid fears that the country will suffer from an acute power shortage next year.

    When asked what took Aquino too long to decide on his recommendation, Petilla said the President has a stigma when it comes to emergency powers.


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