Complaint filed vs. ERC chair over civil service violations Featured

Complaint filed vs. ERC chair over civil service violations

MANILA -- Commissioners from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on Wednesday, April 19, filed a complaint against the agency's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) Jose Vicente Salazar for allegedly violating existing laws and rules on civil service.
In their complaint-affidavit filed with the Civil Service Commission (CSC), ERC commissioners Alfredo Non, Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc, Josefina Patricia Magpale-Asirit and Geronimo Sta. Ana accused Salazar of violating Republic Act 9136, or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), RA 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act (ARTA), CSC Memorandum Circular No. 6 series of 2005, as well as other pertinent civil service rules and regulations.
A report on 24 Oras said Salazar has yet to issue a statement regarding the complaint.
In their complaint, the commissioners alleged that Salazar solely exercised the power to appoint, designate and reappoint several ERC officials, including executive director Atty. Neil Simon Silva, without the authority from the Commission in violation of the EPIRA.
EPIRA states that it is the Commission that has power to appoint the executive director and the members of the technical staff.
"The EPIRA did not exclusively bestow on the Chairman of the ERC the power to appoint the Executive Director and the members of the technical staff. Thus, the power to appoint them is still lodged with the Commission," the complaint read.
The commissioners also argued that Salazar violated the ARTA when he designated Ronaldo Gomez as OIC Executive Director in the alleged absence of Silva.
The implementing rules and regulations of the ARTA issued by the CSC states that when the regular signatory for a transaction under "frontline services" is absent and there are two or more officials next to him or her to sign, "the appropriate office order shall prescribe the order of priority among the officials next in rank within the same organizational unit."
Salazar also allegedly violated the CSC Memorandum Circular No. 6 series of 2005 when he designated Gomez as OIC Executive Director and Esteban Lorenzo Jose Riva, his head executive assistant and first cousin, as OIC of the Administrative Division of the Financial and Administrative Service (FAS).
The memorandum states that "employees to be designated should hold permanent appointments to career positions."
The commissioners argued that Gomez was vaguely appointed to his position through Salazar's Office Order No. 60 series of 2017.
They argued that the order did not provide a reason for the inability of the permanent holder to discharge his functions. There was also supposedly no specific period when the designation would take effect.
Meanwhile, Riva's position as head executive assistant was confidential and co-terminus, making him ineligible for a permanent position, the commissioners claimed.
Preventive suspension
With these alleged violations, the commissioners asked the CSC to preventively suspend Salazar from his position.
"As can be gleaned from the foregoing, the charges against Chairman Salazar clearly involves dishonesty, oppression and grave misconduct," the commissioners said.
They also said Salazar has the tendency to tamper with evidence against him --- a possibility that the preventive suspension seeks to avoid.
The commissioners said Salazar designated OIC Executive Director Gomez as OIC CEO in his absence.
This, even though Malacañang had designated Commissioner Sta. Ana as OIC CEO, as Salazar recommended himself.
But Salazar's order in which Sta. Ana's designation is stated is not found in the ERC docket, the commissioners said.
"[T]his clearly shows that Salazar has the tendency to manufacture or conceal evidence in his favor. As such, he should be temporarily removed from office while the complaint is pending to prevent him from further tampering with evidence that might be used against him," they added.
Before this, Salazar was embroiled in the allegedly anomalous transactions within the ERC which were revealed in one of the suicide notes of the late ERC director Francisco Jose Villa Jr.
The NBI earlier this month asked the Office of the Ombudsman to launch a probe against Salazar and three others over an allegedly anomalous audiovisual presentation (AVP) project, saying that they violated Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Section 65 of the Government Procurement Reform Act. — GMA News

back to top


Sign up to keep in touch!

Be the first to hear about special offers and exclusive deals from TechNews and our partners.

Check out our Privacy Policy & Terms of use
You can unsubscribe from email list at any time