Lanao Sur residents protest power cut-off; electricity restored only to street lights | Inquirer News

Lanao Sur residents protest power cut-off; electricity restored only to street lights

By: - Correspondent / @inqmindanao
/ 05:22 PM July 03, 2014

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—The people of Lanao del Sur have scored a partial victory  when the electric cooperative serving them restored electricity “at for street lights in two of the province’s 32 towns.”

Lawyer Bayan Balt, who stands as counsel for the suit filed by 27 mayors of the province against Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative officials, said in a statement that the restoration of power to street lights in the province came following a court order dated June 18.

But Balt said Lasureco has been defying the order issued by Wemida BM  Papapandayan, presiding executive judge of the Regional Trial Court  Branch 10 in Marawi City, which directed it to fully restore power to the entire province.


“As of Tuesday night, Lasureco linemen re-lit only the highways of two of the 32 affected towns and were even allegedly exacting P2,000 from each barangay wanting reconnection,” he said.


Lasureco general manager Ashary Maongco could not be contacted.  Efforts by the Philippine Daily Inquirer to reach him for comment has remained unsuccessful as of Thursday.

Lasureco cut off electricity to the province when its debt ballooned  to P3.2 billion in May 2013.

Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong, however, said the cooperative’s problem with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.  (PSALM) was the result of mismanagement and not because consumers were remiss in their obligations.

He said he feared that power consumers in the province would have to live without electricity forever if the problems besetting Lasureco were not investigated and addressed.

“We are reiterating our appeal to Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla to investigate the corruption, malversation of funds and gross inefficiency of the Lasureco management. We need timely intervention to avert a full-blown crisis, Adiong said last week in an emailed statement.

Adiong said the action by 27 mayors of Lanao del Sur against Maongco would show that electric consumers were not at fault for their current predicament.


In a complaint with the Ombudsman, the 27 mayors accused Maongco of questionable disbursements of some P190 million in electrification funds, P25 million in “pantawid kuryente” and  non-remittance of payments collected from consumers for their bills between 2007-2012.

Adiong said the non-remittance has increased Lasureco’s previous debt of P3.2 billion to the current figure of P8.3 billion.

He said another issue raised against Maongco was the manner, by which,

Lasureco has been billing its more than 50,000 consumers.

Adiong said for example, each municipality had only been installed  with a single electric meter.

But nobody could check on its propriety because all members of the  Lasureco board had been appointed by the general manager, he said.

“This is a clear practice of misconduct, malversation, graft and  corruption in its nastiest form, ”Adiong said.

But reports in several Lanao-based tabloids quoted Maongco as saying he had not committed wrongdoing at Lasureco and claimed he had  inherited the problem and the practice there in 2007.

He did not comment much on the charges filed against him and the power

issue and only said “these are in the courts now.

But Maongco said Lasureco has always been “open for audit.  In fact we were the

ones requesting for an audit because we wanted to measure our  performance.”

Lasureco is undergoing rehabilitation and that  institutional and technical reforms are being undertaken, according to Maongco.


Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Suspend coop, NEA officials in plunder raps

TAGS: Bayan Balt, blackout, Brownout, inefficiency, Lanao del Sur, Mismanagement, News, Regions

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.