Pacquiao hits Cusi for ‘prioritizing politics’ amid Luzon brownouts
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Manny Pacquiao unpacked his frustration against Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on the Senate floor Wednesday as he accused the latter of prioritizing politics before addressing the power problem currently hounding Luzon.
In a privilege speech, Pacquiao said Cusi should focus on solving the country’s problem with electricity instead of politicking.
“Nakakalungkot isipin na yung ibang mga opisyales po natin na dapat ay nangangasiwa ng sitwasyon, ng mga problema natin na kinakaharap natin ngayong panahon na ito ay wala po tayo, ang inuna po ay pamumulitika,” Pacquiao said during his privilege speech in the Senate Wednesday.
(It’s sad to think that there are other officials who are supposed to tend to the situation, to the problem we are facing right now, [but] actually they are not, [because] they prefer to prioritize politics.)
“I’m talking directly to Sec. Cusi…Unahin po muna natin yung pagtulong. ‘Pag politika ang pinaguusapan, partido, aayusin natin yan in the right time [Let us prioritize helping. When we talk of politics, party, we’ll settle that in the right time],” the senator added.
On Monday, over 100 members attended PDP-Laban’s national council meeting in Cebu City, presided over by Cusi as vice chairman of the party, even after Pacquiao discouraged party mates from participating, saying the event was “not sanctioned.”
Malacañang, however, said it was party chairman President Rodrigo Duterte himself who directed Cusi to convene the national assembly.
“Five years ago, Secretary Cusi declared that there is no looming power crisis and here we are, having brownouts. Nasa red alert pa naman tayo ngayon [We are actually in on red alert],” Pacquiao went on.
“We’re expecting bigger problems pertaining to power supply, have we done enough preparations for a surge in power supply demand this summer? This is a recurring problem. We cannot rely on the same strategies to solve this problem on the rapidly growing demand for power supply,” he added.
Pacquiao joined other senators in calling for the accountability of concerned agencies.
“We need proactive leaders, we need dedicated officials who will fulfill their sworn duties and responsibilities to the Filipino people,” he said.
“Paulit-ulit po akong nananawagan na itigil na muna natin ang politika. Napakarami po nating problema na dapat nating harapin at hanapan ng solusyon [I am appealing so many times to stop politicking. We have a lot of problems that need concern and solution],” he added.
The Luzon Grid, including Metro Manila, was placed on red alert on Wednesday causing rotational brownouts in the area. Cusi earlier assured that there is still enough power supply in the country amid power interruptions being implemented.
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