La Trinidad, Benguet: The Abra Electric Cooperative (Abreco) management sees “political underpinnings” in Monday’s power outage that left more than 40,000 consumers without electricity for three hours.
Loreto Seares Jr., Abreco general manager, explained that the blackout, which affected the entire province, came after supplier Aboitiz Power Renewables Incorporated decided to stop providing the cooperative with power despite the payment of a P5.13-million obligation ahead of the set deadline.
The power firm earlier decided to part ways with Abreco by terminating its Power Supply Agreement (PSA), citing unsettled debts and other commitments “on time” as reason.
“We are demanding for an explanation. If it boils down to a miscommunication or delayed protocol between Aboitiz and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), then we ask you to give us an official explanation to help us straighten the record amid the confusion and panic in Abra,” Seares said, referring to NGCP’s earlier act of intervening between the cooperative and Aboitiz.
He believes that there are “unseen hands” that led to the power interruption.
Abra Rep. Ma Jocelyn Bernos vowed to look into the incident stressing that “Abreco should continue lighting the province” even with the problems affecting the cooperative, Aboitiz and NGCP.
“Power supply is a basic necessity and I cannot sit and do nothing with the present issue,” she said.
Earlier, Abra Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin, who is reportedly still in the United States, belied insinuations that he is dipping his fingers into the cooperative intending to replace Seares with his “anointed one.”
Seares insists Bersamin’s intervention into the affairs of Abreco is “clear as water,” citing an incident where the governor, even while in the US, called to convince him not to run in the cooperative election held over the weekend.
In a letter to Aboitiz, Seares said the power supplier should give the Abreco members-consumers deserve and explanation on what really happened as he lamented how the power distribution facility is influenced by politics.
Abreco, like most power cooperatives around the country, has not also been successful in shielding itself from local politics.