Radyo Natin

ERC chair clarifies 'midnight deals'

MANILA — Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Jose Vicente Salazar stressed Wednesday that the death of director Francisco Villa Jr. does not involve the "midnight deals" allegedly signed with eight power firms.
Salazar, in a statement, said the attempt to relate the two instances is "grossly unfair to him and to his memory." He noted the attempt seems to advance a parochial agenda.
"The erroneous insinuation merely proves that there are parties who are more than willing to use his death to suit their own agenda," he added.
Salazar urged the parties to stop "capitalizing on the death" of their colleague. Villa committed suicide on Nov. 9, allegedly due to his refusal to sign anomalous deals in the ERC.
The chairman also said Villa was not involved in the evaluation of application of permits and approvals of power supply agreements, which is the responsibility of the Market Operations Service and the Regulatory Operations Service. Villa served the commission for 13 years.
He explained that the role of Villa as bidding committee chairman only involves procurement of goods and services.
Salazar said he ordered ERC officials to stop defending the institution after the death of Villa. He added the investigation is now in the hands of independent third-party investigators.
On Monday, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the chairman and the commissioners to resign amidst the allegations of corruption. They all refused. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2021-Jul-22 19.34.29 UTC+0800