Rally vs power firm in Kidapawan canceled

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/27 April) – A call from Local Governments Secretary Jesse Robredo led to the cancellation of a protest rally today at the Energy Development Corp. in Barangay Ilomavis, at the foot of Mt. Apo, where the company operates two geothermal plants.

The cancellation peeved some residents who said they were ready to join the protest action that sought to solve the daily brownouts plaguing the province.

Conveners of the Nagkakaisang Pinoy Kontra sa Brownout (Napikon sa Brownount) have demanded that EDC allocate 25 percent of the power it generates to the Cotabato Electric Cooperative.

City Mayor Rodolfo Gantuangco said this will assure Kidapawan of 26 megawatts of power supply daily as host of the geothermal plants.

Gantuangco, who received Robredo’s call, said the secretary wanted to meet with the conveners of Napikon as President Aquino does not want a rally.

The mayor had given the group a permit to hold the rally dubbed “Day of Mourning and Protest.”

City Administrator Rodolfo Cabiles Jr., who heads Napikon, is also the chair of the board of directors of Cotelco, which supplies power to at least 98,000 consumers in North Cotabato.

Gantuangco said that while he believes “this is the time we tell the National Power Corporation and those in the power industry that we’re not happy with what’s happening in our place, I saw the wisdom of Secretary Robredo.”

Some residents however were not happy with the cancellation.

Leo Reovoca, an NGO worker, said: “See? It only shows the limit of the position or stand of our leaders. The change in their decision was so abrupt”.

Riza Gumapac, a poblacion resident said she was already set to join the rally when she learned it was canceled.

But Gantuangco warned the national government the group would still push through with the rally if the negotiations failed. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)