December 9, 2022

Malacañang appealed to a party-list group to respect the decision of the National Electrification Administration board of administrators (BOA) in recommending a Palace official as a candidate for general manager of the Benguet Electric Cooperative.

The Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. questioned the NEA BOA’s decision to endorse Presidential Communications Operations Office Asec. Anna Marie B. Rafael instead of Melchor Licoben, the cooperative’s acting manager.

“Ang aking panawagan po sa mga electric cooperatives, mayroon pong proseso na sinusunod at doon sa proseso po mayroong isang mas malaking body na nagno-nominate po kung sino ang maa-appoint na mga members ng Board of Directors at nakaupo naman po diyan ang representante ng ating Pangulo na Secretary of Energy, Alfonso Cusi,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque said he did not see why Rafael could not be endorsed if the endorsement went through the proper process.

All the corporations that are involved with the government, especially those under government regulation, follow the process because it involves so much responsibility. And if it went through process, no one should prevent the right process from being implemented,” he added.

Citing newspaper reports, Roque said the NEA board decided to select Rafael as she was the candidate with the higher score during the final interview.

Licoben scored 82.75 percent while Rafael drew a 94 percent mark, according to NEA Board Resolution 2021-47.

In a statement, Rafael appealed to some Beneco BOD members to stop sowing intrigue and instead focus on getting the job done.

“Let’s stop the intrigues and the bickering and get back to work because we owe it to the member consumers and paying consumers of Beneco,” she said.

Rafael said she will respect the decision of NEA.

Despite not being an engineer, Rafael said she only had “good intentions” to work for Beneco. – PNA