Duterte dismisses suspended ERC head
President Rodrigo Duterte has dismissed Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jose Vicente Salazar, suspended last August 2 for alleged corruption in the agency.
In a decision issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Mediadea on Oct. 6, 2017, he said the Office of the President has found Salazar administratively liable for two counts of simple misconduct and one count of grave misconduct.
"Substantial evidence shows that Atty. Salazar tried various ways of influencing the process for the procurement of ERC’s audio visual project to ensure that his favored supplier gets the contract," said the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs in a statement.
It also said that it was undisputed that Salazar "usurped" the power of the ERC as a collegial body when he unilaterally issued orders in connection with the application for the renewal of the Electric Power Purchase Agreements between FDC Utilities, Inc. ? Misamis and several distribution utilities, and when he appointed certain ERC officials and employees without the imprimatur of the other commissioners.
"In line with the President’s promise to render the nation corruption free, he has dismissed from service the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) who is a presidential appointee," the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs said in its statement.
Investigation against Salazar was prompted by the suicide of ERC Director Francisco Villa Jr. in November last year.
Villa was allegedly being pressured to approve procurement contracts and hiring consultants without proper bidding and procedure. Celerina Monte/DMS