THERE are indications why only the percentage score of one of the applicants to the managerial post of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) that was sweepingly assumed by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) as the highest result supposedly taken from the oral and written examinations was endorsed to the EC’s board of directors for their approval.
It quizzes me why with all the good lawyers wandering inside the NEA building who know the law, they are now being accused of violating rules on the selection of general managers for ECs that they themselves approved in the first place when they forwarded to the Beneco BoD a resolution endorsing one of the applicants to be the GM.
As lawyers of NEA, they knew that they broke their own rules in the selection of GM for ECs. But they did what they intended to do as if every kink was already ironed out and that they had to follow orders from “heaven”, or go to hell.
As if their hands were not full, an official of the NEA was slapped with a graft and corruption case filed by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) last month for allegedly allowing ECs to contribute to the campaign fund of a partylist group in the 2019 midterm elections.
PACC Chairman Greco Belgica said that NEA Administrator Edgardo Masongsong, with the rank of undersecretary, faces charges on possible violations of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).
Belgica asserted that it was against the law for public utilities to contribute to the campaign funds of an individual or partylist group. The PACC found that Masongsong did not stop the contributions despite knowing this was against the law, and allowed the ECs to contribute to the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association Inc. (PHILRECA).
The NEA supervises the ECs that approved board resolutions that contributed to the campaign funds of PHILRECA, the umbrella organization of some 121 ECs in the country that registered before the Comelec as a partylist group in 2018.
For decades, after the stand-off involving Beneco officers, employees and member-consumers who protected the company against a forceful take-over in the late 80s, the NEA that was tasked to assist ECs implement the Rural Electrification program (REP) in the country was silent. But why the sudden rise from slumber and attempt to dictate and interfere with our “electric” affairs?
That is why I am getting the suspicion that the endorsement to the post of a lesser qualified applicant is part of a syndicated collaboration involving bigger individuals linked to Malacanang, aside from the conspirators who, despite from the fact that they lived their good lives by drawing their salaries from Beneco, still have the face to help the plotters.
There were indications too that the applicant could be a puppet or dummy of a bigger shadow behind the persistent drama. All these have to be verified including the well-guarded involvement of a business tycoon with a monosyllabic name who, I was told, is interested in taking over the ownership of electric cooperatives in the country.
If there is any truth to the foregoing fears, then that explains the deafening silence at the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). With the mess created by one of its assistant secretaries, going against the member-consumer-owners of the EC and pitting Beneco officials against each other, I have yet to hear a comment from my idol Sec. Andanar.
Maybe it was good riddance for Sec. Andanar to let her go if something sour in their professional relations went wrong. Whether office policies were violated or their minds clashed were things I would not mind but I wanted to know what prompted the applicant to write President Duterte on a PCOO office stationery.
By the way, in her letter to the president on June 30, last year where she requested that she be endorsed as Beneco GM through the NEA, she presumed that her “kakailyan” Cordillerans were grateful to the President for giving her the opportunity to work in government which was not exactly correct.
Instead, Cordillerans should be grateful that government offices were run by sincere and dedicated men and women who rose from the ranks, not run by carpetbaggers, opportunists or political appointees. I think the applicant is not one among the latter.
I heard that the applicant is talented but not good enough to run an electric company that needs special expertise honed through experience in the job for at least five years. She has not worked in an electric company for not even a minute.
That makes people wonder where the NEA plucked the test results attesting to the applicant’s excellence as against the test results of one who spent 30 years of his life working for Beneco.
NEA and all the board of directors of Beneco knew that Engr. Melchor Licoben was by far more qualified than the other applicant to the GM position because of his incomparable experience but for reasons known only to them, they violated the rules. They cheated the member-consumers who are the owners of Beneco.
But I also heard that if one is talented and wants to reach the top, stop asking for endorsements from politicians. Otherwise, people will say that you did not win the position and you did not pass the test, but they gave it to you.
And what good is a position in a company or in society if you are not wanted? Some of us think that holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go that makes us stronger.
After seeing the consequences that a personal ambition led to, such as pitting one against another, unnecessarily dividing people, pulling LGU executive and legislative officials into the fray; one must be prepared for a graceful exit. Letting go is a very humane act that will make one person more lovable and wanted.