Malacañang said Thursday it would take necessary actions to formally suspend the four Energy Regulatory Commission officials today for allegedly tolerating the misuse of bill deposits of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque confirmed the deferment of action against ERC commissioners Alfredo S. Non, Gloria Victoria C. Yap-Taruc, Josefina Patricia M. Asirit and Geronimo D. Sta. Ana.
The decision was made in response to the defense of the four commissioners’ legal counsel Rolando B. Faller.
In a text message to media Thursday, Faller stressed that while there had not been any temporary restraining order issued by the Court of Appeals, there had been also no official directive from the Office of the Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.
“The four commissioners will stand ready to comply with the directive if one is issued and served upon them. If they will abandon their office, then that constitutes abandonment of office, which is a crime,” stated Faller.
He added the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman was clear that the implementation of the suspension was coursed through the Office of the President.
Last June 17, Overall Deputy Ombudsman Melchor Arthur Carandang approved the recommendation of Graft Investigation to suspend the four commissioners.
In its 14-page resolution dated May 18, the OMB stated that the four commissioners failed to strictly implement rules on the nature of bill deposits.
The OMB’s suspension orders emanated from the complaint filed by consumer group National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms Inc. (Nasecore) against the four commissioners. The four commissioners, however, deemed there was no basis for such a finding and insisted there had been no failure on the implementation of rules on the nature of bill deposits.