Suspension of ERC officials will lead to ‘paralysis’ – Malacañang

Rambo Talabong
Following the Ombudsman's order to suspend all 4 energy regulatory commissioners, the Palace is studying how to 'prevent an operational shutdown' of the ERC

PARALYZED. Roque points out that the ERC decides as a collegial body. Malacanang file photo

MANILA, Philippines – The suspension of all commissioners of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) will lead to the agency’s “paralysis”, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque acknowledged on Friday, December 22.

Pero totoo po magkakaroon po ng parang paralysis diyan, dahil pagdating sa polisiya ay hindi po sila makakagalaw,” Roque said in a dzMM radio interview early Friday morning, commenting on the Ombudsman’s order. (Yes, that’s true, there will be a paralysis there because, they cannot move with policy making.)

The ERC, Roque explained, can only decide on policies as a “collegial body,” as a group. But with ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera as the only top official left in office, there is no body to decide with.

Roque clarified that this setback does not mean that Malacañang would stand in the way of the Ombudsman. (READ: Duterte’s word war with women)

“‘Ginagalang po natin itong desisyon ng Ombudsman. At sa tingin ko naman ay tama naman po iyong desisyon na iyan na suspendihin sila,” Roque said. (We respect the decision of the Ombudsman. And I think that decision is right.)

Instead, Roque said, the Palace is already working on a solution to keep the ERC functional during most of its executives’ one-year suspension. (READ: Malacañang asks ERC officials to explain ‘extravagant’ trips)

“It’s not possible that while their cases are ongoing, no decisions will move forward in the ERC. So the Palace is studying how to prevent an operational shutdown of the ERC,” Roque said in Filipino. – Rappler.com

Rambo Talabong

Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.