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HomeFront PageBreaking NewsElectric coop in Davao said guv’s new suspension was legitimate

Electric coop in Davao said guv’s new suspension was legitimate

By CHRIS V. PANGANIBAN

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur — Officials of Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (NORDECO) in Tagum City said the complaint filed by the cooperative supporters against Davao del Norte Gov. Edwin Jubahib before the Office of the President was independent and based on legitimate grounds.

Jubahib was set to return to duty on Monday, June 10, after serving his 60-day suspension. However, another 30-day suspension was served to him from the Office of the President, allegedly for participating in a rally against NORDECO and favoring the entry of a private company, the Aboitiz-owned Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC).

In an official statement sent to this reporter, NORDECO said the cases filed against Jubahib by the electric cooperative advocacy allies and a board official were based on facts amounting to grave abuse of authority and misuse of government position and resources, favoring a purely private entity in violation of the Constitutional prohibition on the use of government resources for private purposes.

The statement said, “NORDECO strongly supports the Coalition Against Privatization of Electric Cooperatives (CAPECs) and the National Center of Concerned Electric Consumers, Inc. (NCCECO) Davao del Norte/Davao de Oro Chapter in exercising their rights as independent and legitimate electric consumer organizations.”

CAPECs and NCCECO have been at the forefront of the protest action against the privatization of NORDECO.

“NORDECO’s stand against privatization aligns with the struggles being waged by CAPECs. Beyond personal interests, NORDECO agrees with the principles of CAPECs for equity as opposed to corporate greed,” the statement pointed out.

Jubahib’s latest suspension stemmed from his active participation in a motorcade rally supporting House bills to expand the franchise of DLPC, aimed at dismantling NORDECO.

Three complainants filed the case to Malacañang against the governor, namely Diahne Czarl L. Semic, CAPECS Vice President under OP-IAD-23-E-004; Roy C. Baco, NCCECO official in Montevista town in Davao de Oro province under OP-IAD-23-F-002; and NORDECO board director Ernido Malone under OP-IAD-23-G-009.

The suspension order was signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on June 4, 2024.

Reacting to the suspension order, Jubahib said in a post on his Facebook page “Kuya Edwin Jubahib” that the directive to suspend him anew for 30 days was unjust despite his good intentions to replace NORDECO, which he accused of being inefficient in services to consumers and causing frequent power interruptions to the detriment of business opportunities in Davao del Norte.

Jubahib said the provincial government had engaged in negotiations with NORDECO in the past over consumer and business owner complaints, but the problem was not resolved, prompting them to elevate the concern to Congress in 2022 seeking legislative measures for a good electric utility.

“However, House Bill No. 10554, for unknown reasons, was vetoed by President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. in July 2022,” Jubahib said.

“And now, instead of holding them accountable, your Kuya Gov is the one being punished,” he added.

Jubahib’s first suspension stemmed from an administrative complaint filed by Board Member Orly Amit on Nov. 24, 2022, for grave abuse of authority and oppression.

The governor said he ordered the recall of Amit’s capitol-issued service vehicle and assigned it to the provincial engineering office. However, he said the vehicle was returned to Amit the following month.

He said the vehicle’s recall was allowed because the provincial engineering office needed it then; hence, he did nothing illegal.

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