BAGUIO CITY – The Legal Services Department of the National Electrification Administration (NEA-LSD) advised the 5-member Board of Administrators to defer the release of Resolution No. 2021-71 installing an applicant to the position of general manager of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) to prevent them from being cited for contempt that might cause their eventual arrest and imprisonment.
In a Memorandum to the BOA, NEA-LSD Manager lawyer Vic Alvaro and Deputy Administrator for Legal Services lawyer Rossan Rocero-Lee stated that the precipitate release of RB Resolution No. 2021-71 to BENECO which would effectively install an applicant as the appointed general manager based on a mere opinion by the Office of the government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) would render nugatory the ongoing inquiry in aid of legislation being undertaken by the House of Representatives through its committee on energy, thus, it is strongly emphasized that the NEA-BOA should defer the implementation of the said resolution so as not to earn the ire of the House of Representatives as a whole, and its committee on energy in particular as it may construe the same as a blatant disregard of its proceedings.
Worst, the NEA-LSD opined that it may even prompt the committee to find such hasty release of the questionable resolution, despite its earlier motion to maintain a status quo in the BENECO leadership, as an act of contumacy and violation if its rules of procedure governing inquiries in aid of legislation which is an essential element of the jurisdiction of the legislative body.
The NEA-LSD pointed that it might be event added that the untimely release of the questionable resolution which would be an open defiance of the status quo order will provoke the committee to exercise its power of contempt as that act is a disobedience of its order, the inherent contempt power being an essential and appropriate auxiliary to the legislative function of Congress.
“Also, it would be possible for this particular issue at hand to rear its ugly head later when we go to Congress for the NEA’s other concerns. All the more necessary it is that we caution the NEA-BOA at this point to approach the consideration of releasing the subject resolution which circumspection, lest the influence of our strong passion on the matter at hand should get the better of our judgement,” the memorandum underscored.
The NEA-LSD memorandum was hastened by the directive of the alternate chairman of the NEA-BOA as relayed to the said office by the corporate board secretary as to whether the NEA-BOA can release the questionable resolution to BENECO considering that it is the very same issue being deliberated by the House committee on energy.
The ongoing inquiry is based on House Resolution No. 1776 urging in inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the overreach of the NEA on the screening, selection and appointments of general managers of electric cooperatives and to revisit, define and review its mandate, powers and functions on that purpose.
Earlier, the inquiry in aid of legislation tackled the issue on the selection of the new general manager of BENECO. By HENT