Petilla confirms extended stay as energy chief
Petilla confirms extended stay as energy chief
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla stays until President Aquino decides on his replacement. There are two candidates for the position.

MANILA, Philippines – Carlos Jericho Petilla remains the secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) until Malacañang finds a suitable replacement.

Petilla announced April 29 he submitted his irrevocable resignation letter in March to President Benigno Aquino III. His resignation was supposed to take effect April 30.

Petilla recommended DOE Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada as officer-in-charge of the agency.

On Monday afternoon, May 4, after a meeting with the President, Petilla said in a text message that he agreed to remain in the post because he wanted to give Aquino more time to decide on his replacement.

“Yes, my stay is extended until he finds an appropriate replacement,” Petilla said.

Extending his stay as DOE chief remains indefinite though. “No dates for now, but we will continue on this matter and other energy concerns when he comes back from the trip to US.”

Aquino is scheduled to visit Canada and the United States from May 6 to 9.

Possible candidates

There are two possible candidates to replace Petilla: former energy secretary Raphael “Popo” Lotilla and current National Transmission Corporation (TransCo) President Roland Bacani.

Lotilla served the agency from March 2005 to July 2007. Prior to his appointment as energy secretary, he was the president of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM). He also briefly served as PSALM chief operating officer before he became its president. He also served the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) from January 1996 to January 2004 as undersecretary.

Lotilla did not categorically say yes or no if he was interested in replacing Petilla.

Bacani, for this part, said he would “seek the guidance of my ‘Boss’ up there” for any sign. “Please, pray for me,” he added.

Petilla, in his resignation letter, cited “personal and family reasons” for quitting the job. He, however, did not deny that he is considering seeking a higher office in 2016.

“I’m keeping my options open. What position, if you ask me, I can never say until the last minute that I have made up my mind,” he said.

In December 2013, Petilla submitted his resignation letter to President Aquino after he failed to deliver on his promise to restore electricity by Christmas Eve in all the areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

Aquino, however, stood by him, citing that there were only few villages where power was not restored, and that DOE was able to bring power back to most areas.  –

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