Ombudsman suspends 4 ERC directors for P200B overpriced power contracts: Why is MVP-Meralco afraid of bidding?
Why is bilyonaryo of Manuel V. Pangilinan and Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) afraid of a bidding?
This was the question asked by former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares after the Office of the Ombudsman ruled in favor of his group’s petition to suspend four of the five directors of Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and file criminal charge against them for corruption in practically exempting the MVP-Meralco from the Competitive Selection Process (CSP) in selecting the cheapest power suppliers.
In a December 10 ruling, the Ombudsman suspended for one year without pay ERC commissioners Josefina Magpale-Asirit, Alfredo Non, Gloria Yap-Taruc and Geronimo Sta. Ana for granting “midnight deals” to sister companies of Meralco. The four ERC directors inexplicably extended the deadline for the PSA contract which allowed Meralco to seal the deals with it sister firms.
The Ombudsman also found probabl cause to charge the four ERC commissioners for graft and gross misconduct due to their “manifest partialtiy” to the MVP-Meralco firms.
“Ano ba masama sa bidding? Ang quality ng 1 megawatt n kuryente is all the same among bidders,” said Neri in an interview with DZMM.
Neri claimed that the seven contracts made by MVP-Meralco with its seven sister firms were overpriced by P10 billion or P200 billion for the 20-year contract.
Neri said the four have made a “great disservice” to the ERC which would only operate with only its newly-appointed Chair Agnes Devanadera on board.
“The ERC is now compelled to reject these contracts because the Ombudsman itself has found these contracts irregular. This should serve as a warning to new ERC appointees that the public was all eyes on these onerous contracts,” said Neri.