DUTERTE TO ERC OFFICIALS:

‘Quit or face raps’

9

LIMA, Peru: President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday told officials of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to resign or be humiliated and charged for corruption.

“I am demanding that they all resign. They really abused [the system]… just like in the past,” the President told reporters before heading back to Manila.

“If they want to be spared of the humiliation of sitting there without the money, they resign and I will reorganize or rename the — silang lahat [all of them]they have to resign,” he said.

Duterte disclosed that he has internal and intelligence reports indicating systemic corruption in the ERC. The issue hogged the spotlight in the wake of the death of ERC Director Francisco “Jun” Villa Jr., who committed suicide after exposing alleged corruption within the ERC.


Villa revealed in his suicide note the supposed pressure he got from ERC Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar to approve procurement contracts without proper bidding.

QUIT NOW President Rodrigo Duterte calls on ERC officials to step down at a news briefing in Lima, Peru. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

QUIT NOW President Rodrigo Duterte calls on ERC officials to step down at a news briefing in Lima, Peru. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

If the ERC commissioners refuse to resign, Duterte said he will be forced to file a case against them.

“They must resign. I have options: File a case against them all or demand that no money will be appropriated [for the commission],” he added.

The President said he will ask Congress to either withhold the budget of the ERC or disband the agency altogether.

“I will ask Congress, I demand from Congress to disband and/or file a case simultaneously against them when I get back. I think my source already [has]documents,” he added.

“Now it’s a matter of the lawyers of the government assessing [the case]. Mabuti’t malaman na nila bago ako mag-landing kaya magdasal na lang sila [It’s better that they are warned before I land so they better start praying],” the President said.

But ERC commissioners Alfredo Non, Josefina Asirit and Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc declared that they will not resign.

Meeting sought
Salazar has sought a meeting with Duterte.

In a statement issued on Monday, he said he is confident that the meeting “would result in clearer directions from him regarding the issues facing the ERC.”

Salazar vowed to take appropriate actions to protect the commission, part of which is to “immediately probe the allegations made by the late Director Jun Villa and our expression of support and full cooperation for the planned inquiry by the Senate Committee on Energy.”

He asked the Commission on Audit (COA) to conduct a thorough investigation of “matters internal to the ERC” raised by Villa in his suicide note, including the corporate identification audio-visual presentation that would help establish the agency’s corporate identity.

Documents showed that the project had an approved budget of P300,000 that was increased to P490,000 to cover “creative and production aspects.”

The ERC said it has not entered into any contract with the four bidders, adding that the agency of Luis Morelos had not filed a bid.

Villa, in his letter, said his biggest fear was being called out by the COA on the contents of the AVP (audio-visual project) “by Luis Morelos which the chairman and CEO Jose Vicente B. Salazar chose through a rigged selection system.”

The ERC is an independent regulatory body mandated to protect consumers and promote competitive operations in the electricity market.

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9 Comments

  1. Mr. President, please nationalize the power/energy group by having back the National Power Corporation. Having those Oligarchs running the business is not working. Selling the power assets of the government is a fiasco – a big corruption gimmick, making those in power at the time enriching themselves by pocketing billions of pesos from the proceeds.

    The privatization and deregulation were designed for those Oligarchs to keep the poor get poorer and the Oligarch richer all the time through corruption.

    Yes, please get rid of ERC and PSALM as you planned Mr. President.

  2. ERC and PSALM are both so corrupt and have to be eliminated. Look, PSALM was tasked to sell the power plant assets of the country. How come that they wind up owing billions of pesos instead? Don’t this folks understand simple math or algebra?

    Mr. President — please do fire all those incompetent people — all of them bar none!

  3. The BRAVE ONE DU30 does not know about the ‘innards’ of the Manila based government agencies. Perhaps it is wiser to assign the RP major govt agencies in the Mt. Province. There in the Mt. P people are more decent and might rub their decency to the Manila breed govt honchos. With the advent of modern communication, these honchos could not reason out necessity of office location to provide the required expedient actions and decisions. Test these honchos, if they really want to serve they have to sacrifice the glamour of the city…if they refuse they are only after the power behind the poisition and the perks it brings. Make it a MANTRA…serve you like in the mountains you reside….maybe few will and those are the sincere ones.

  4. Problem with “independent” government entities is that there are no checks and balances to them and they are not con-current with the sitting president (just like our very “dedicated” ombudsman).

  5. All it takes is strong political will to curb corruption in government departments and agencies. Congratulations and more power to PDU30 …..

  6. Why is the dictum phrased that way ? Does it mean if they quit, they will be exonerated ? Shouldn’t they be charged even if they quit IF they are in fact guilty of corruption ?

  7. Narsing Santos on

    Sige po tatay Digong sampulan ninyo ang mga iyan para matauhan ang mga iba pang kurakot na iniluklok ni Abnoy. Sila at ang mga ganid na elitista ang may kagagawan kaya pinakamahal ang kuryente natin sa buong Asia. Sana po ay isonod ninyo ang mga nasa NTC para gumanda ang serbisyu ng internet at telepono at ng bumaba din ang presyo. Salamat po tatay Digong.