Party-list ‘power bloc’ throws support to Leni

SAN FRANCISCO, Agusan del Sur (MindaNews / 15 Feb) – The party-list “power bloc” lawmakers in Congress are supporting the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo in the May 9 elections.

Rep. Presley de Jesus, of the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (Philreca), has declared in an online press conference via Zoom Monday afternoon that the four party-list colleagues in the House of Representatives belonging to the energy sector have decided to rally behind Robredo’s presidential candidacy.

Aside from De Jesus, three other party-list lawmakers belonging to the so-called “power bloc” are Rep. Sergio Dagooc of the Association of Philippine Cooperatives (APEC), Rep. Godofredo Guya of the Rural Electric Cooperatives Board of Directors Association (RECOBODA), and Rep. Adriano Ebcas of Ako Padayon Pilipino.

De Jesus claimed the “power bloc” can deliver a majority support to the vice president from the 14 million member consumer owners of electric cooperatives in the country.

The lawmaker disclosed that Robredo has signed a covenant with the “power bloc” that she will not support the privatization of electric cooperatives if ever she will be elected president.

“We’re proud to say that we are supporting Vice President Robredo,” De Jesus said when asked by a media practitioner attending the online press conference as to who the “power bloc” will support for president.

The “power bloc” has been fighting the moves to privatize several electric cooperatives in the country, including the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco), Iloilo Electric Cooperative (Ileco) I, Ileco II and Ileco III, and Camarines Sur Electric Cooperative (Casureco) III.

The Aboitiz-owned Davao Light and Power Company is interested in taking over electricity distribution in the two cities and seven towns in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro; while MORE Electric and Power Corporation has also shown interest to take over Ileco I, II and III; and Bicol Light and Power Corporation wanted Casureco III.

De Jesus said Robredo has also committed to continue the Sitio Electrification Program that seeks to energize some 1.2 million households in far-flung areas when she will be in Malacañang.

Meanwhile, the National Center of Electric Cooperatives Consumers (NCECCO) has called on electorates not to vote politicians who are behind the moves in the privatization of electric cooperatives

Edgardo Rama Masongsong, NCCECO secretary general and former administrator of National Electrification Administration, has asked millions of NCECCO members nationwide not to vote for local officials and lawmakers who are supporting the move to privatize electric cooperatives.

He did not mention the names of the politicians in other areas but specifically cited former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez seeking reelection in the first congressional district of Davao del Norte and reelectionist Gov. Edwin Jubahib of Davao del Norte. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)