Duterte angered by corruption at Energy Regulatory Commission bared by official ‘driven’ to suicide
PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has ordered all commissioners of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to resign in the wake of the suicide of an official facing pressure to allegedly carry out corrupt activities,
“Binastos nila,” Duterte said in a press conference in Lima, Peru.
The President said he received internal and intelligence reports about anomalies in the ERC including questionable appointments.
The President also was informed about the excessive consultants at the ERC and the questionable dealings of some of its officials with contracts.
Duterte immediately clarified that he is asking ERC officials, not the rank-and-file, to resign.
“I am demanding they all resign,” the President said
He said he received and read the reports of the controversy involving the death of ERC director Francisco Villa Jr., who killed himself on Nov. 9 and left suicide notes expressing his problems on the job.
Villa’s sister, journalist Charie Villa, said the notes showed that he had been under pressure to approve procurement contracts without bidding or hire consultants as chair of ERC’s bids and awards committee.
“They really abused the [system]… just like in the past,” Duterte told reporters before heading back to Manila after his participation at the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit in Peru.
He also said he would ask Congress to either “disband” or “reorganize” the ERC and to file charges against the erring officials.
“I leave it to the implementor. All these officials will have a choice: I will demand from Congress to disband [ERC] or leave them without a budget, and/or file cases simultaneous,” Duterte said.
The President said ERC officials should prepare themselves.
“My source was a document. Now it’s a matter of government lawyers assessing the case. They better pray,” he said.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier vowed to ferret out the truth behind allegations of corruption in the ERC.
The late ERC director complained of the corruption activities within the ERC in his suicide notes.