NEWS: Daneco OIC GM says BOD resolution making his post vacant is “invalid”

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

feb 18

Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative OIC general manager (GM) Allan Laniba described as “invalid” the resolution of the board of directors approved Saturday on 7 versus 5 minority votes that affirmed the earlier 6-votes resolution that declared the GM post as open and vacant.

In an interview, Laniba, invoking the legal opinion of Daneco counsel Atty. Jess Albacite, said that from the very beginning when board Resolution Number 293, series of 2009 was approved on December 12, 2009 by only 6 votes the last Saturday’s resolution affirming the issue of majority votes was already invalid.

He said not a simple majority of 6 votes were needed but 2/3 votes of the Board of Directors (BOD) members or 7 votes were needed to make the GM post open and vacant.

Laniba is already now on his over 9 months of serving as OIC GM after the untimely death of former GM Edgar Savellano. The board designated Laniba as OIC GM on April 4, 2009 and National Electrification Administration on April 15, 2009 confirmed with the board’s action giving Laniba a “probationary” 1 year tenure as OIC GM.

The BOD itself then presided by pro-Laniba board president Dr. Antonio Segumpan, MD recommended Laniba to take the place of Savellano, but later the Segumpan’s presidency was wrested by the current president Dean Briz, who along with several directors, has been ostensibly blocking the appointment of Laniba as permanent GM.

The board now is locked in a struggle with hairline vote margin switching to and pro either favoring Laniba or Briz depending on the issue, besides the main target of Briz and company to frustrate Laniba from capturing the most coveted and perks-laden GM post.

The permanent GM post itself carries a monthly salary of over P60,000 and fat representation allowances and incentives and powerful fiscal, management and at times political influence to reign in the affairs of the power cooperative including putting into his wings vocal and critical directors.

Earlier, NEA threw the BOD the challenge to resolve the issue on majority votes to make the GM post vacant as egged out by Resolution No. 293 which was approved by 6 votes favoring Briz while only 4 votes were opposed and 1 vote was abstention.

Laniba and Albacite contended that 6 votes for the declaration of vacancy was not the majority per parliamentary rules and as the board has 12 members with one presiding, 7 votes was the majority vote.

But in last Saturday’s board meeting, Briz and director-treasurer Ananias Darjan Jr managed to get 7 votes to affirm Resolution 293.

Briz and company contended that Laniba’s term as OIC GM could anytime be cut by the Daneco BOD citing a NEA ruling that the management of a power cooperative is vested on its board of directors, and therefore it could anytime declare the position open and vacant for application by anybody.

Briz and company have since then been asking NEA to publish the vacancy to a newspaper of national circulation with Daneco shouldering for the cost of publication, which NEA has not yet acted on at press time with the pendency on the issue of majority votes.

As the two protagonists locked horns on the issue of replacing or maintaining Laniba, Briz and company have been blowing the lid off in baring alleged anomalies and “deficiencies” happening in Daneco with unresolved management issues harking back to the time of late first GM Atty. Jose Amacio as well as the rectifications made by the current BOD.

Laniba and company on the other hand contended that Laniba’s OIC GMship leading his becoming as permanent GM has already been settled by prior acts of the BOD to confirm Laniba’s designation as OIC GM and not to open and make vacant the position and to  endorse Laniba as permanent GM per board resolution on July 11, 2009 which net 8 votes and 1 opposing vote of Briz.

But shortly after mid last year NEA administrator counsel Atty. Edgardo Piamonte, in response to the separate letters of Briz, Darjan and director Roman Calicdan questioning Laniba’s appointment, first threw the issue to the board to resolve it as a collegial body.

Segumpan, then the board president that time, answered NEA stating that the issue was already settled by the BOD.

On September 16, 2009 NEA through Piamonte wrote the BOD giving Laniba 1 year up to April 2010 to prove his worth before his permanency as GM, with Laniba to be subjected NEA evaluation and confirmation.

Briz said it is the BOD which first selects and endorses who the GM is from qualified applicants after the making the post open and vacant as published by a national newspaper.

“The six votes of the Board cannot repeal the previous decision of the Board not to open the vacancy, and the endorsement of Laniba as permanent general manager… again six votes do not constitute a majority number, therefore cannot establish or approve a motion… It must constitute 2/3 votes of all the members of the Board,” stated the legal opinion.

Last Saturday, however, Briz and company got 7 votes to affirm Resolution 293, but they failed to terminate Laniba as OIC GM in the consequent resolution by rotating department managers to become OIC GM with 4 votes versus 5 votes in favor to Laniba.

Briz said, in an interview, they still have cards close to their chest to lay for Laniba and company in the coming days saying first that Laniba has to step down when he applies for the permanent GM position and all applicants inside Daneco “can not become an OIC, transition or caretaker GM when that time comes.”

But Laniba branded that the latest affirming resolution was already “dead” and “invalid” as it was based on “invalid resolution”.

“To affirm an invalid resolution is an invalid act. Dapat nag pass sila ug laing resolution nga lahi sa 293 (They should have passed another resolution different to 293),” Laniba said in separate interview.

Voting in favor to the affirming resolution were directors Darjan, Miguel Fermil, who moved the resolution, Roman Calicdan, Brendo Ceniza, Dr. Roberto Alam, MD and Samuel Lacierda. But Alam and Lacierda chose to abstain in the subsequent resolution terminating Laniba from his job and rotating OIC GMship among department managers. Voting not in favor to the affirming resolution were directors Dr. Antonio Sebumpan, MD, Eugenio Ramonida, Engr. Dan Gervacio, retired Col. Dominador Cruda ug Orlando Bugas. They all thumbed down the subsequent resolution. (Cha Monforte/Rural Urban News)

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