NEGROS Occidental Governor-elect Eugenio Jose Lacson denied Wednesday, June 26, the accusations hurled against him by anti-coal advocates in the province.
Lacson said even before he takes his oath and assumes office as the new governor of Negros Occidental, "some sectors have already sowed hatred towards me."
It is based on the following reasons "that I would repeal Executive Order 19-08 dated March 6, 2019 declaring the province as a source of clean and renewable energy and a coal-free province issued by outgoing Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr.; that I will not refile the request for an ordinance declaring the province as coal-free and that I approved the coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City," Lacson said.
"These acts I have not done," he added.
First, on repealing EO 19-08, he said, "I already said that I will consult my lawyers. They have advised me that there is no need to repeal the EO. The EO will remain enforced."
On the accusation that I will not refile the request for an ordinance declaring the province as coal free, Lacson said "there is no need to file or a refiling because the enactment of the ordinance is still a subject matter that is still in process with the Sanggunian Panlalawigan (Provincial Board)."
He also said that he assumes that the incoming members of the Provincial Board (PB) will continue.
"There are two committees-energy and environment that are studying it. It is chaired by reelected board members so there is no need to refile," he said.
On the third point, he said "it is not in the authority of the vice governor. I have no authority to issue a building permit of such a plant in San Carlos City."
"We all know that it is the responsibility of the local government unit not the vice governor nor the governor," he added.
Meanwhile, Lacson said he has received reports of a silent protest during the inauguration on June 29.
"We’re very democratic. I would like to apologize to my colleagues. This is not only my oath taking but also of the vice governor and board members," he said.
Some of them were not even members of the PB yet, "so I apologize to them if it will bother them because the protest is directed to me," Lacson said.
"We have security for the event so we just hope that they follow the guidance during the occasion," he added.
Lacson said he has invited the bishops from the three dioceses in the province.
Only Bishop Patricio Buzon has confirmed, one indicated he will not go and he has no word for other, he said.
But Lacson said the doors of the Office of the Governor is "open to them if they wish a dialogue."