4 BENECO directors face disciplinary action from consumers

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BAGUIO CITY – Member-Consumer-Owners (MCOs) of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) approved the imposition of disciplinary actions against 4 members of the Board of Directors for committing acts contrary to norms and standards of being officials of the electric cooperative.

In a resolution that was passed during the 40th annual general membership assembly that was conducted through blended mode, the MCOS authorized the filing of criminal complaint for usurpation of authority, falsification of public documents, perjury or similar offenses against Luke Gomeyac, James Aclopen, Rocky Aliping and Enrique Moresto and lawyer Ana Marie Rafael for acting as general manager.

Further, the MCOS also authorized the filing of the complaint against the National Electrification – Board of Administrators (NEA-BOA) and all other national and local government officials or offices concerned for possible violation of the pertinent provisions of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The MCOs also sought for the perpetual expulsion of the 3 officials and members of the board and for their perpetual disqualification from becoming such in the future.

Presented during the assembly was a resolution of MCOs, particularly lawyers George Dumawing, Jose M. Molintas and several other MCOs lawyers, for the imposition of disciplinary action against the 4 members of the board.

During the assembly, the presiding chair, lawyer Esteban Somngi, explained that the resolution of the MCOs was one of the subject of the September 23, 2021 meeting of the BENECO board where some of them allegedly decided to excuse themselves while Aclopen was not present during the said meeting where as a matter of courtesy and due process, they should have been afforded their fair share of time or opportunity to explain their side.

He added that in view thereof, the board decided that the said resolution of MCOs shall instead be brought to the assembly for resolution.

MCO and Benguet boardmember Recto Alawas referring to the prayers of the resolution of MCOs that the 4 members of the board shall be expelled as members of BENECO suggested instead that only their removal as BENECO member of the board be approved and not their membership as MCOs because doing so would in effect strip the 4 of their privilege to avail of electric service which might upset the socio-economic patterns of their families and that the same was duly seconded.

The imposition of disciplinary action against the 4 members of the board stemmed from their action in signing a performance management contract (PMS) in favor of Rafael which was submitted to the NEA despite the previous action of majority members of the board that the NEA-BOA resolution appointing her as general manager be rejected and that the PMC will instead be issued in favor of Engr. Melchor S. Licoben who was appointed by the board as general manager way back in 2020 pursuant to Resolution No. 2020-090 dated April 21, 2020.

Earlier, majority members of the BENECO board also filed criminal charges against their 4 colleagues for falsification of public documents before the city prosecutor’s office which is now pending investigation. By HENT

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