Group files complaint against Gov. Jubahib

Group files complaint against Gov. Jubahib

THE Coalition Against Privatization of Electric Cooperatives (CAPECs) expressed concern about the alleged harassment experienced recently by its members.

The incident of alleged harassment began a day after the members of the Coalition jointly subscribed their affidavit of complaint to the Office of City Prosecutor in Tagum City, Davao del Norte on April 28, 2023.

On May 2, 2023, the CAPECs filed a complaint against Davao del Norte Governor Edwin I. Jubahib before the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the President of the Philippines for allegedly violating the 'specific laws' in the allegation leading the rally supporting the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC), a private for profit electric distribution company that will replace the Northern Davao Electric Cooperative (Nordeco), which has a franchise to operate in Davao de Oro and some towns and cities in Davao del Norte.

According to a press conference held on May 22, 2023 at Miko's Brew in Tagum City, the complainants recounted a series of "house hopping" initiated by people allegedly associated with Governor Jubahib, who persuaded them to withdraw the complaint against the governor.

“Governor Jubahib has organized the rally on April 4, 2023 which used the provincial government resources like vehicles and employees. The acts violated the anti – graft and corruption practices specified in the Republic Act No. 3019 and Republic Act No. 10121,” Asuncion J. Eñigo, CAPECs member and one of the complainants, said.

CAPECs explained through their press release what is contained in the Republic Act.

"Republic Act No. 3019 otherwise known as the Anti–Graft and Corrupt Practices Act prohibits among others the public officials to give any private party any unwanted benefits in the discharge of his official administrative functions. On the other hand, Republic Act No. 10121 or known as the Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction Management Act of 2010 mandates the public officials to reserve the government issued vehicles ready for the disaster risk reduction and management," CAPECs said.

"Aside from the vehicles and employees, the provincial government has also spent fuel for the rally. These resources should have served the communities instead," said Diahn Czri L. Semic, the Vice President of CAPECs who is also a plaintiff.

Despite the incident, the members-consumers-owners (member-consumer-owners) of Nordeco and the CAPECs rallied where they were led through a walk and street dancing starred by some individuals wearing gowns and other costumes on Labor Day, May 1.

The electric cooperative called to respect the decision of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to retain the franchise of Nordeco Inc. in some towns in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro.

Last year, President Marcos Jr. vetoed Republic Act 10554, which is a pushed bill came out for the expansion of the Davao Light franchise in Davao del Norte and Davao de Oro instead of the current electricity supplier Nordeco.

“We call on Governor Jubahib to respect the rule of law and the decision of President Marcos Jr. when the President has vetoed the House Bill No. 10554," according to Rev. Socrates G. Idul, also a CAPECs member and one of the complainants.

CAPECs did not provide more details on the complaint as the case continues in the Office of the Ombudsman and the Office of the President.

Jubahib issued a statement on Friday, May 26 regarding the case filed against him by CAPECs. According to the governor, he condemned the terms that are said to be baseless and baseless charges filed against him by CAPECs.

"I condemn in the strongest terms the unfounded and baseless case filed by CAPECs against me, which clearly reeks of political harassment and persecution. This desperate attempt to silence my voice and undermine the will of the people of Davao del Norte is a blatant disregard for justice and an insult to the principles of democracy," Jubahib said.

The governor added, "It is with deep disappointment that I witness the lengths some individuals and organizations will go to in order to impede progress and keep our people shackled to an inefficient power provider. The people of Davao del Norte have long suffered from subpar services and exorbitant electricity rates imposed by Nordeco. They have raised their voices in unison, demanding a change that will bring about improved service reliability, affordable rates, and a brighter future for our beloved province."

The governor also clarified that the filed case is “politically motivated” and “an attempt to divert attention” from the power issue in the areas Nordeco is currently serving.

"Let me be clear: this case is nothing more than a politically motivated attack on my integrity and an attempt to divert attention from the real issue at hand—the urgent need for a new power provider that can deliver on the promises of affordable, reliable, and sustainable electricity for our province,” he said.

“CAPECs and its cohorts are shamelessly attempting to drown out the voice of the people, denying them their fundamental right to choose their future,” he added.

The governor also assured his constituents that he will not be deterred by the “baseless excuses.” JPC


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