Graft raps filed vs NEA administrator—PACC

Published May 12, 2021, 2:11 PM

by Raymund Antonio

The Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) said on Wednesday, May 12, that it filed a graft and corruption case against an official of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) for allegedly allowing electric cooperatives (EC) to contribute to the campaign fund of a partylist group for the 2019 midterm elections.

PACC Chairman Greco Belgica said that NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, with the rank of undersecretary, will face charges on possible violations of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).

PACC Chairman Greco Belgica (Facebook/Manila Bulletin)

“Ito po ay sa kaso na paggamit ng pera ng gobyerno para ho gastusin sa kampanya (This is for the case of using government funds to spend on an election campaign),” he explained during the Laging Handa public briefing.

The NEA is a government agency created under Presidential Decree No. 269 in 1973 for the formation of “a national policy objective for the total electrification of the Philippines on an area coverage service basis, the organization, promotion and development of electric cooperatives to attain the said objective, prescribing terms and conditions for their operations.”

It supervises the ECs, which came out with board resolutions that contributed to the campaign funds of Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (PHILRECA), the umbrella organization of some 121 ECs in the country that registered before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as a partylist group in 2018.

Belgica said that through their investigation, they found that Magsongsong did not stop the contributions despite knowing this is against the law.

“Ni-minsan hindi tumutol sa probisyon ng nasabing board resolution. Ang ending po ay contribution ng mga electric cooperatives sa iba’t ibang partylist gaya ng PHILRECA (He never objected to the board resolution. It allowed electric cooperatives to contribute to different partylist like PHILRECA),” he explained.

“Sa amin pong pagsisiyasat sa imbestigasyon ay napatunayan namin that there is probable cause na pwedeng tingnan ng Ombusdman at litisin (In our investigation, we proved that there is probable cause that the Ombudsman can look at and examine),” Belgica added.

The PACC official asserted It is against the law for public utilities to contribute to the campaign funds of an individual or partylist group.

The commission filed the case online on Tuesday, May 11, but Belgica hopes to submit the hardcopy of the case and evidence to the Ombudsman once it opens next week.