The National Electrification Administration (NEA) fixed the power blackout in Masbate within 24 hours shortly after taking over the management of the Masbate Electric Cooperative, Inc. (MASELCO).
The NEA sorted out the problem after deploying a team on Thursday last week, led by Edmundo Aguilar whom Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong designated to serve as project supervisor/acting general manager of MASELCO.
Aguilar was tasked to oversee the operations and management of MASELCO to ensure the efficient delivery of electric service to its member-consumers following the reported massive blackout on Wednesday last week.
This developed as soon as Masongsong placed MASELCO general manager Eduardo Margallo under a 30-day preventive suspension over allegations of gross inefficiency and mismanagement of the cooperative.
The order is in response to the resolutions issued by the Masbate Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the MASELCO Board vis-à-vis the demand letter of DMCI Masbate Power Corporation (DMPC). dated 24 May 2017, threatening to cut the power supply of MASELCO for its failure to settle its overdue obligations.
“This order is necessary to forestall any potential tampering of evidence and prevent Margallo from exerting undue influence to the outcome of the pending investigation,” Masongsong said, referring to the probe on the MASELCO general manager being conducted by the NEA.
“His continued stay in office as the general manager could definitely influence possible witnesses and/or pose threats to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence, thus preventive suspension is necessary for the protection of the Cooperative, its operations and assets, pending the finality of this motu proprio investigation,” the order read.
“The NEA has been vested with the power to impose disciplinary and preventive measures upon erring members of the board of directors of electric cooperatives, its officers and employees,” it added.
The order was served to Margallo on Thursday last week and was received by his legal counsel, lawyer John Martin Sese.
Aguilar flew to Masbate early Thursday last week with a team from NEA to meet with Governor Antonio Kho and some government officials. They discussed together with the Maselco employees plans to settle the outstanding bills of the cooperative with DMPC.