• PSALM president/CEO suspended for 90 days

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    The president and chief executive officer of state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) has been suspended from his post.

    The suspension of Psalm President and CEO Emmanuel Ledesma was announced during deliberations of the Principals Board Meeting on Tuesday.

    PSALM “engages in the management, sale and privatization of existing generation assets of the National Power Corp., independent power producer contracts, real estate and other disposable assets, including the transmission business of the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo).”

    According to the Department of Finance, the board resolved to place Ledesma under preventive suspension for 90 days, effective immediately, after the meeting.

    The DOF, however, did not give any reason behind Le-desma’s suspension.

    With Ledesma’s suspension, Lourdes Alzona, vice president for finance, shall act as officer-in-charge of the Office of the President of Psalm.

    Ledesma, in a text message to The Manila Times, said he would respect the decision of the board of directors.

    He, however, questioned the legal basis of his suspension.

    “But I have some reservations as to the legal justification for the board’s action,” Ledesma said.

    Because of this, Ledesma is planning to ask for clarification from President Benigno Aquino 3rd on his suspension.

    “I will have to clarify matters with the appointing authority. I am a presidential appointee, and I ultimately serve at the pleasure of the President,” he said.

    Ledesma also did not mention any reason behind his suspension.

    He was appointed to the board in September 2010 at the height of controversies involving PSALM bonuses.

    Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares earlier accused Ledesma of entering into a questionable deal for the overhaul and maintenance of Malaya Thermal Power plant.

    Colmenares said the contract entered into by PSALM with South Korean firm STX Marine Service Co. Ltd. is “flawed” as the latter has no experience at all in maintaining power plants.

    He noted that PSALM awarded the one-year Operations and Maintenance Service Contract to STX even though it has no track record in handling power operations and maintenance.

    Colmenares said Ledesma was accused of allowing the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to prepay the 10th to 30th deferred payments for concession fees in the amount of P57.883 billion even without the PSALM board’s approval

    The NGCP has outstanding obligations of P2.531 billion to TransCo contrary to Section 6.07 of the Concession Agreement.

    Ledesma refused to give any comment on the accusations hurled against him by Colmenares.

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    1. blunder in the procurement of Agus 4 HEP rehabilitation project… that’s what it says from other news.