Twenty-two local government units (LGUs) of Lanao del Sur on Thursday afternoon filed plunder, grafts and other violation cases before the Office of the Ombudsman against officials of the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (Lasureco) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) who allegedly disbursed funds that bloated the cooperative’s debt to P6.2 billion, lawyers said on Friday.
The 22-page complaint was filed against Lasureco general manager Ashary Maongco, NEA Administrator Edita Bueno and NEA Supervising Auditor Digno Tumbokon, lawyer Bayang Balt told The Manila Times.
The complaint was signed by local officials Lampa Pandi of Poona-Bayabao, Abdullah Datu–mulok of Binidayan, Ali Sumandar of Piagapo, Jamal Asum of Lumbayanaue, Japar Diarangan of Bacolod-Kalawi, Nashiba Suma–gayan of Taraka, Raysalam Ma–ngondato of Balindong and Harun Marohum of Marogong.
Al Rashid Macapodi of Ganassi, Topaan Disomimba of Tamparan, Ali Adiong of Ditsaan Ramain, Alfais Munder of Bubong, Noron Da–dayaan of Buadipuso Buntong, Sahroden Papandayan of Bayang, Usman Sarangani Jr. of Madalum, Sharifullah Tanog of Pualas, Jalilah Mindanao of Madamba and Macmod Muti of Saguiaran also signed the complaint.
The complaint accused the respondents of “questionable disbursements” of P190 million for the Barangay Electrification Project all over the province, P25-million Pantawid Kuryente and the P603-million power bills collected from the consumers in 2007-2012 which were allegedly not remitted by Lasureco to the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Corp. (PSALM) and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Balt said.
Due to mismanagement, he said, “Lasureco power debt with PSALM stood at P6.2 billion as of January 14, 2014.”
“Deceased persons and non-coop members appeared as beneficiaries, while the alleged P603-M power bills payment including the pass on charges, generation and transmission fees intended for PSALM and NGCP were diverted personally by the respondents,” Balt said.
“The complaining LGUs also alleged that they were not given the chance to elect the board of directors of Lasureco, a right granted unto them as consumers under the coop by-laws,” he said.
“Record shows that the coop officials are dictated by Bueno without the benefit of elections or consultations from the stakeholders,” the lawyer said.
“The Maranaos consumers deserve justice,” he stressed.
The filing of case followed the issuance by the local Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Marawi City of an injunction directing the local power cooperative to reconnect the electricity of the 22 LGUs that were illegally disconnected since May 2013.