Members of the Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BUSECO) Board of Directors have been suspended. The BUSECO officials were placed under a 30-day preventive suspension because of alleged non-compliance.
The National Electrification Administration (NEA) issued a 4-page suspension order against the BUSECO board members and served the same last September 5, 2017. The order was immediately effective in order “to prevent undue influence on the motu proprio investigation being conducted by the NEA Administrative Committee.”
According to a Manila Bulletin report, the suspension was reportedly due to non-compliance and continued defiance to mandates given to it by NEA.
The defiance steemed from the fact that NEA ordered the ouster of BUSECO General Manager Deiter Hoff Arellano because he was “found guilty of grave misconduct, dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the EC and its member-consumer-owners (MCOs)).”
Instead of following the June 22 order, however, the BUSECO board instead pushed for the regularization of Arellano.
Among those suspended were:
Rev. Fr. Danilo Paciente
NEA has supervisory powers to BUSECO as well as other electric cooperatives in the Philippines.
The suspension means all orders emanating from the Buseco BOD are no longer valid, according to Atty. Alexander Paul Rivera, NEA Corporate Board Secretary.
To recall, NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong issued an office order last May creating a team to oversee the management of Buseco due to internal conflict among its BOD members, allegations of irregularities, and to ensure its continued operational and financial viability.
The order was pursuant to Sections 4 and 4-A of Presidential Decree No. 269, as amended by Republic Act No. 10531, stipulating the supervisory powers of the NEA over the ECs. It was issued upon the recommendation by the agency’s fact-finding committee.
This stemmed from a letter dated April 1 of four Buseco directors requesting for NEA intervention to takeover the management of the coop, citing the high power rates and alleged irregularities as among their concerns.
Buseco questioned the office order before the Court of Appeals (CA) by filing a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of injunction, claiming, among others, that NEA is without authority to issue said order. However, the CA immediately dismissed BUSECO’s petition.
In disposing BUSECO’s petition, the CA held in its resolution dated June 2, 2017, thus: “Any disposition on petitioner’s prayer for temporary restraining order and/or writ of injunction is already moot. Petitioner’s Urgent Manifestation and Motion filed on May 29, 2017 is noted without action.”
Masongsong has designated Mr. Felix Vergara, Jr. as an Acting General Manager (AGM) of Buseco. The Board of Directors of the electric cooperative likewise refused to honor Vergara’s designation as AGM.
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