ERC chair Salazar seeks meeting with Duterte after order to quit
The chairman of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is seeking an immediate meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte after the latter ordered all officials of the energy body to resign following the suicide of an officer.
ERC chair Jose Vicente Salazar on Monday said he is waiting for Duterte’s return from Peru, where he attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, “to give him a fuller picture of the current developments at the ERC.”
“We were informed about the President’s statement made in Lima, Peru regarding a call for the resignation of all ERC officials in the wake of the recent issues confronting the organization,” Salazar said in a statement.
“I am confident that the proposed meeting with and briefing for the President would result in clearer directions from him regarding the issues facing the ERC,” he added.
Duterte on Sunday demanded all ERC officials to resign in the wake of the controversy involving the death of ERC director Francisco Villa Jr., who was forced to take his own life last Nov. 9 due to supposed pressure from Salazar to rig the bidding process in favor of preferred companies.
In a series of suicide notes, the 54-year-old Villa wrote: “My greatest fear in the bids and awards committee is the AVP by Luis Morelos which the chairman and CEO, Jose Vicente B. Salazar, chose through a rigged selection system. That will be a criminal act.”
Salazar assured Duterte that he has the “highest respects for his recent statement” and vowed to take “appropriate actions that would protect the organization.”
“Part of this is our request to the Commission on Audit to immediately probe the allegations made by the late Director Jun Villa and our expression of support and full cooperation for the planned inquiry by the Senate Committee on Energy,” he added. RAM/rga
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