Are politics distracting Cusi? Read his answer

Published June 3, 2021, 6:29 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Secretary Alfonso Cusi doesn’t believe that he has been remiss in his job as Department of Energy (DOE) chief as a result of him tending to his tasks related to politics.

DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi (Ariel Fernandez / File photo/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Cusi also wears the hat of vice chairman of ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban). On Monday, May 31, Cusi presided over a high-stakes meeting of the PDP-Laban national council in Cebu wherein they urged President Duterte to run for vice president in the coming May 2022 national polls.

On the same day, the Luzon grid slipped into “red alert” status following the dwindling of energy reserves. This set the stage for rotational brownouts in the region during the next couple of days.

“Nagkataon nga po iyon na nagkaroon ng aberya, those power plants broke down. Na nagkataon naman po na na-tiyempo na we have a meeting in Cebu (It was just a coincidence that the power plants broke down while we had a meeting in Cebu),” Cusi said during a televised press briefing Thursday, June 3.

Cusi was asked to respond to criticisms that he was letting politics distract him from his job at the DOE.

“But it doesn’t mean na napapabayaan po (But it doesn’t mean that I’m neglecting my job) because I’m not the only guy that is running DOE. I trust my team, I trust the DOE people addressing the situation,” he said.

“The policies have been laid out already. This is a question of enforcement,” Cusi said, referring to how the DOE will address the issue of power plant outages. “Wala pong relasyon yung pagmi-meeting sa Cebu (It has nothing to do with the meeting in Cebu).”

If anything, he says that the current technology allows people to multi-task.

“With [the] technology that we have today, we can perform more. And that is the aspiration of all of us people, like you and me, we want to be able to accomplish and do more tasks. Hindi po ba? Ganun po iyon (Isn’t that right? That’s how it is),” he said.

President Duterte sits as PDP-Laban chairman.