Dancing marionettes at FICELCO
posted 18-Mar-2018  ·  
1,386 views  ·   0 comments  ·  

What is happening to the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative?

This question begs to be asked in the light of the recent filing of an administrative complaint by three FICELCO directors against their own colleagues, whom they (?) want ousted from their posts.

It may be recalled that on Feb. 12, the board majority approved a resolution to appoint as officer-in-charge of the cooperative, which has not been steered by a permanent general manager since Engr. Samuel Laynes resigned in December 2015 to run for mayor in Virac.

In the next two years, the co-op has been handled by two OICs, Engr. Peter Amaro and corporate planning manager Jonathan Valles. It was only in 2017 that the board opened the vacancy, with three applicants submitting their credentials and undergoing evaluation at the National Electrification Administration.

Only one – Technical Services Department manager Francis Gianan – passed the written test and psych evaluation. He, along with other GM applicants, were supposed to undergo final interview with the NEA selection committee on Sept. 24, 2017 when the latter inexplicably canceled the meeting. Since then, no meeting has been called for the purpose of choosing FICELCO’s next manager.

It was probably in frustration over the delay that the FICELCO board majority decided to name Gianan as OIC, something that did not sit well with the three directors and, most particularly, the people behind them.

All the directors, except for Board President Alexander Ang Hung who was on a private trip abroad, attended the First Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors Summit from Feb. 16 to 17 in Boracay to address different issues affecting power coop directors in the rural electrification sector.

It should be noted that based on the complainant submitted to NEA, the affidavit signed by the three directors was finalized in Pasig City on Feb. 15 and then notarized on Feb. 17 in Pasay City by a lawyer whose office is just two blocks away from a hotel where FICELCO directors sometimes meet.

How the three directors managed to have the complaint drafted in just three days from the Feb. 12 board meeting and have it signed and notarized upon their arrival from Boracay would be a herculean effort without outside assistance.  

Most member-consumers, including the politicians and media among them, know who is really pulling the strings at the FICELCO board for years now. It is perfectly understandable, of course, for one to protect one’s bastion to the extent of going into a tactical offensive and control the battlefield, so to speak.

What cannot be fathomed by those concerned by FICELCO’s uncertain future is the depth to which the human marionettes at Marinawa would go not only for their own personal benefit but also to dance to their handler’s music without regard for their sworn duty to protect the rights and interests of power consumers.

Even considering what the atmosphere might be in the next board meetings might be, with the poison of the ouster complaint floating between its members, is already a headache. What more with the prospect of having FICELCO ran down to the ground and its remains picked up by vultures whose only aim is to control the island’s power industry.

What is happening with FICELCO? Every member-consumer needs to ask their directors right now and see if they can get truthful answers from those who have sworn to serve them.

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