Cusi claims Pacquiao tainted Senate hearings with politics

Published October 22, 2021, 6:29 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Contrary to the allegations of presidential aspirant Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao of corruption during a Senate committee hearing, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Friday October 22 wrote the Senate that his department’s decision to tap the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation-Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (PEMC-IEMOP) is in accordance with the Electric Power industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA).

‘’In spite of the issues raised yesterday (by Pacquiao), the DOE assures the good senator that our policies are always within the bounds of the law and its mandate,’’ Cusi in his letter to Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate Energy committee.

‘’While the DOE recognizes the prerogative of the Committee to conduct its hearing in a manner that preserves the integrity and order of the proceedings, it is our view that the hearing may have been used unwittingly as a platform to advocate certain political interests,’’ Cui said in his letter. He was apparently referring to the Pacquiao allegations.

During yesterday’s public hearing by the Gatchalian committee, Pacquiao slammed Cusi for allowing a three-month-old private corporation with a measly P7,000 ‘’contribution’’ paid by its seven incorporators to take over the operation of the electricity spot market and fulfill the requirement of the (EPIRA) as an independent market operator.

Cusi maintained that PEMC-IEMOP has the combined expertise and experience to undertake the project.

On the issue that IEMOP has very small capitalization, Cusi explained that iEMOP does not need a big amount of capitalization since it is a non-profit organization.

Just like the Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation at the Procurement Service, Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM), DOE has this corporation that amassed hundreds of millions of pesos in earnings, Pacquiao claimed.

Pacquiao also hit Cusi for failing to address the country’s power outages due to negligence and politicking.

He maintained that Cusi should also be blamed for the high cost of electricity which is considered one of the highest in Asia.

Cusi heads the Cusi wing of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP)-Laban. The other wing is headed by Pacquiao.

‘’While the DOE recognizes the prerogative of the Committee to conduct its hearing in a manner that preserves the integrity and order of the proceedings, it is our view that the hearing may have been used unwittingly as a platform to advocate certain political interests,’’ Cui said in his letter.

‘’it is really unfortunate that the hearing that the hearing was marred by issues raised by a few members of the Senate that sought to portray the DOE as a perpetrator of fraud in so far as the Philippine Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) is concerned. The accusations hurled against the DOE and other entities, especially those included in the video that accompanied Senator Pacquiao’s opening statement, were malicious and full of inaccuracies, it not outright lies and were obviously intended solely to malign the personalities therein. It is unfair that most of these personalities were not given the chance to be heard, since they were not present during the hearing,’’ he added.

 
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