Palace: ERC chief won’t need to step down just yet

MANILA, Jan. 23 (PNA) — Malacanang on Thursday said that despite calls of the Akbayan Party-list to sack Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairperson Zenaida Ducut, due process will still have to be followed.

Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., in a Palace briefing, raised the issue following Akbayan’s filing of an administrative complaint against Ducut Thursday morning.

Akbayan, in its complaint wrote that Ducut was “guilty of gross neglect of duty and incompetence” for approving the Manila Electric Company’s (Meralco) power rate hike.

Coloma said due process had to be followed in complaints such as this and that the Office of the President will have yet to decide on the matter.

When asked if Ducut would be expected to step down while investigation on the power rate hike was ongoing, Coloma said that it was not necessary.

“She (Ducut) is not required to leave her post (pending the case),” the Malacanang official said in Filipino.

“There is a process for such proceedings,” he added. “We will abide by the due process and we will give her the opportunity to answer the charges filed against her.” (PNA)