Protest vs Albay electric co-op kicks off Monday

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LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Militant groups led by Karapatan-Albay and the Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) multi-sectoral stakeholders’ organization (AMSSO) staged a protest rally Monday morning opposing the planned privatization of the financially ill electric cooperative.

Vince Casilihan, spokesperson of human rights group Karapatan-Albay, in a phone interview, said the protest action launched on Monday aims to persuade members of the ALECO Interim Board led by Bishop Joel Baylon of the the Legazpi Diocese and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to drop their plan to privatize the cooperative and place it under the government’s Private, Public Partnership (PPP) program.

Casilihan said “this protest action will be followed by series of weekly rallies until such a time they (ALECO board) should have changed their minds about privatizing it.”

Hundreds of protesters converged at the Peñaranda Park at 8:30 a.m. Monday and marched to the Bishop Palace for a short program and proceed to the ALECO office in the city to protest and demand for rejection of the privatization plan.

ALECO, which is under the supervision of NEA, will hold a pre-bid conference Monday to look into the proposals of private corporations interested to invest and buy out the cooperative.

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