ERC chair Salazar suspended for insubordination
Malacañang has suspended Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Jose Vicente Salazar for four months due to insubordination.
Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag announced his suspension on Thursday in a Palace briefing.
“The Office of the Executive Secretary, in his decision dated August 2, 2017, finds Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman and CEO Jose Vicente Salazar guilty of insubordination,” Banaag said.
“Thus, Mr. Salazar is meted out the penalty of suspension for a period of four months without pay,” she added.
Salazar on May 2 was placed under preventive suspension for 90 days while the administrative charges against him were being investigated.
Banaag said the preventive suspension for Salazar last May was different from his suspension on Thursday.
“A preventive suspension is not a form of penalty. So the preventive suspension part is in order for the office to be able to investigate without any of documents being hidden by any body who is being investigated. This is separate. So this is a penalty already for insubordination,” she said.
“But there are other issues surrounding the case of Commissioner Salazar, which of course is different from insubordination case,” she added.
Banaag said the insubordination case against Salazar stemmed from his order to lawyer Ronaldo Gomez as signing authority for the office of the chairman and chief executive officer despite Malacañang’s order assigning Commissioner Geronimo Sta. Ana to serve as officer-in-charge during his absence.
“So this is the insubordination part. This is the penalty. So the Office of the President has jurisdiction over Salazar and for his disobedience for insubordination, for not obeying the appointment, the previous appointment released or given by the Office of the Executive Secretary to Mr. Sta. Ana, OIC Sta. Ana, for appointing another person as OIC. That is the case and insubordination that was decided upon by the Office of the ES,” Banaag said.
The Palace official refused to comment on the administrative charges against Salazar.
“For investigations, of course, we cannot divulge kung anuman ang mga iyan so as not to preempt kung anuman ang mangyayari,” she said.
“But then for the insubordination part, ito po ‘yung issue that was decided upon na may penalty siya. For other cases like as what I mentioned a while ago, we will not mentioning about that or tackling about that since it was another a full-blown investigation that would need a lot more time to be able to investigate,” she added.
President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier asked Salazar to resign after ERC Director Francisco Villa Jr. committed suicide.
Villa had earlier exposed that some ERC officials were pressuring him to approved anomalous deals. JE
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