BENGUET Electric Cooperative (BENECO) General Manager Melchor Licoben has lodged a complaint with the Baguio City Prosecutor’s Office charging the leaders of the widely criticized siege and forcible takeover of BENECO with theft, grave coercion, and malicious mischief.
In the complaint with the Prosecutor’s Office, Licoben claimed that National Electrification Authority (NEA) lawyers, Omar Mayo and Anna Maria Paz Rafael, were responsible for the disappearance of a service vehicle as well as other equipment during the October takeover, where NEA-designated cooperative caretaker Mayo led armed Cordillera police personnel to forcibly seize the BENECO headquarters.
Licoben’s complaint also charges Mayo and Rafael with grave coercion, saying that their forced entry into BENECO headquarters intimidated cooperative members and personnel who did not report to work out of fear of their personal safety.
According to Licoben’s complaint, Mayo, Rafael and their unnamed accomplices were also accountable for the destruction of BENECO property during the two days they had control over the building, including shattered glass doors and damage to ignition keys and switches of BENECO service vehicles.
Licoben also filed a human rights complaint against the Cordillera Police Office in Camp Dangwa for their role in the forced takeover of the BENECO headquarters.
Licoben’s complaint before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Cordillera Office cited a yet unnamed Camp Dangwa official for “allowing the use of excessive police force to serve a mere suspension order in the cover of darkness in violation of our rights as human beings.”