AFTER criticizing the government for its failure to come up with measure that would stop, if not cushion the effects of the power rate increase, Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th on Tuesday questioned presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda’s real position on the issue and if whether he is on the side of the power producers or the people.
Trillanes was reacting on the statement of Lacierda who said that the senator should not be hasty in making general statements regarding the actions taken by the government on the power rate issue and should instead give government credit where it is due.
“Whose side is he [Lacierda] on? Is he on the side of the power producers? I would like to believe that it is not the position of the president,” Trillanes said.
The presidential spokesman on Monday said Trillanes should appreciate the actions of the government in keeping the prices down.
Lacierda further noted that the senator’s assumption that the government did nothing to stop the power rate increase is a fallacy.
The Malacañang official was referring to Trillanes’ earlier claims that the power rate increase is a result of the failure of the government to address that issue earlier.
The senator, in an interview Sunday, also rejected President Benigno Aquino’s statement that he is powerless to stop the power rate increase by tapping the Malampaya fund, because the Supreme Court has ruled that the the fund should be used solely for energy development.
Trillanes has insisted that the President could use the Malampaya fund for subsidy and let the High Tribunal rule on its legality later if his move was questioned.
“The government’s instinct should always be with people and not with the power producers,” he said, adding that Malacanang should review its communication plan.
As to the statement of the president admitting that he is powerless, Trillanes expressed belief that the president was ill-advised and that whoever gave that advise to the the president should be fired.
“The president of the Philippines is a very powerful president. He can do many things if he wants to,” the senator added.
The senate committee on energy will conduct its inquiry on the big-time increase in the generation cost charged by the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) and to find out if the reasons given by the power producers are valid. Jefferson Antiporda