Archive for the daneco-cda Category

OPINION: Daneco-NEA alarmist

Posted in daneco blackout, daneco nea cda, daneco-cda with tags on July 26, 2014 by cha monforte

june 17, 2014

HASHTAGS BREW
By Cha Monforte

It seems that the amount used as the reason (or alibi) of Daneco-NEA to cause for a franchise-wide blackout is just small. It is only P8.14 million monthly, and it’s peanuts to Daneco-NEA or even Daneco-CDA. Any of the two factions can easily pay that amortization of the restructured P275 million (of the total P576 million power obligations of Daneco as one entity). The website of NEA now says that the Daneco-NEA has been diligently paying its power obligations, while the Daneco-CDA is not paying its share. Daneco-NEA and NEA project supervisor Godofredo Guya have not been frank into saying that Daneco-CDA is not paying its share of the power supply burden. For when they ask Daneco-CDA to pay its share, they are recognizing the protagonist they want to be annihilated in the first place. It’s NEA Manila which does the talking. Daneco-NEA has been sending letters to officials about Daneco’s PSALM obligations per encoded data of its finance officer as noted by its OIC GM Benedicto Ongking. The problem here is they did not attach or juxtapose a photocopy of PSALM demand letter indicating the impending action of disconnection in case of delinquency. It’s all Daneco-NEA’s claim. That’s why I tend to believe on the charge of Daneco-CDA that Guya and the appointed Daneco-NEA board officials are “bluffing” based on “bloated financial obligations” which they accordingly did last year for the DOE to forge an agreement that had only made Daneco-CDA stopped its collection activities. Last Monday, in aphone interview, Ongking confirmed they did not yet receive any document from PSALM about the disconnection. He claimed that last Feb. 25, 2014 they receive PSALM demand letter that already lapsed 10 days after they failed to pay what had been demanded to be paid. It was February and Daneco-NEA had already secured a restructuring of the power obligations due for March 2013 to April 2014. It appears now that it is only P301 million that has not been sought for restructured, or Daneco-NEA had been paying parts of this? Daneco-NEA now appear to be panicky already that by bloating obligations and not showing PSALM’s demand letter it becomes alarmist. It’s napangka or bokya in Filipino. Some critical sectors including a board member said that the latest blackout announcement of Daneco-NEA is but a “palupok”. Particularly, the appointed and rubberstamp Daneco-NEA board are a bunch of alarmists. It’s Daneco-NEA’s accountability when its own panic is shared to the public, creating larger instability and unpeace.
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There’s no blackout, folks, as it would become a mortal sin of Daneco-NEA being the leading faction in this long-running Daneco war. But reports said that the Daneco-CDA has been expanding its loyal membership base through reconnection of electric meters from what Daneco-NEA has disconnected. How true is the report that Daneco-NEA is surrendering and would not be contesting PSALM or DOE in making power disconnection so that an emergency situation comes in out from the blackout and hence annihilate Daneco-CDA for it has no more power to reconnect? But what about if the Daneco-CDA would reconnect what the PSALM would disconnect?
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But I would say now that the two Daneco factions have loudmouths. It comes no surprise that they are noisy these days. But maybe a total blackout may come and Daneco-CDA is brought for judgment. When blackout moment comes amid a continuing rotational brownouts, that would be the time that the loud mouths of the two factions have to eat crows.
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Davao del Norte Board Member Dr. Fred De Veyra spewed out fire and brimstone over Daneco’s continuing war between Daneco-NEA and Daneco- CDA in my interview with him last Thursday. I strongly sensed his disgust was directed to both the sets of the officials of the two factions. The board member, chairman of the SP’s human rights committee, obviously could no longer take much further what he has been seeing to Daneco he served very well when it was yet one entity during the 80s and 90s. He slammed for the so wasteful, so costly, so foolish infighting who’s legitimate or not between the two factions.
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There is now a need for member-consumers to rise up to the present disarray of the erstwhile one Daneco. Rising up would mean they can move and stand like petitioning electorate for people’s initiative or recall. That can be if there’s a devil advocate movement or group to initiate. I heard one which is driving a petition to convert Daneco into power corporation registered under the Securities and Exchange Commission. May they lead this time when there’s already fatigue over this so costly, so wasteful, so foolish Daneco war that seeks only to destroy Daneco as an institution.
*****
BM Dr. De Veyra is right when he slammed that Daneco has been on losing streak of its finances due to this costly infighting. Both factions maintain their own set of employees and management and board officials. There are two sets of expenditures instead of one. With it, naturally Daneco would lose financially. Because officials of both factions whet the appetite for continuing Daneco’s war as it’s them who mutually benefit out from it, Daneco has to lose as a result. If ever the blackout comes true with the claim of the Daneco-NEA that PSALM will disconnect its power supply to Daneco anytime this month, then Dr. De Veyra is right to say that the member-consumers have no sin and could not be blamed for this mess, not their low payments to their electric bills, but due to the continuing war that was started and sustained by both of the officials of the factions. When that darkness comes, Daneco’s 150,000 member-consumers should rise up and protest against the foolish officials of both the Daneco-NEA and Daneco-CDA including NEA project supervisor Godofredo Guya. Don’t blame us but you all Daneco officials! Dr. De Veyra said.
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The Tagum City Council’s committee of the whole made its committee hearing on the Bird Park controversy closed door at Molave Hotel last Thursday. May there’s already a result of it after the hearing. The tagged fall guy was there. Will heads or a head only will roll in the committee’s recommendation?
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Davao del Norte SP Floorleader, Board Member Hernanie Duco wants that all the official matters and measures in his office would be acted and referred speedily to committees. I sense BM Duco of Carmen is efficiently doing his function for board members to avoid getting caught delayed with the 30-day reglamentary period for the SP to act on measures of lower sanggunians.

Gov. RDR says referendum to decide for conflicts-plagued Daneco

Posted in daneco-cda, daneco-nea with tags , on December 28, 2012 by cha monforte

dec. 27, 2012rdr

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario opined that member-consumers have to decide whether the 40-year old Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) would operate under the supervision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) or under the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA).

He told local reporters that “Daneco is supposed to be a coop and as such members have to decide.”

He added that the referendum “should be done properly, and should not be politicized.”

The governor said that he learned of the legal problems that came up when most of the members of the old set of board of directors were sacked by NEA due to an administrative case.

“Now there’s a new board appointed by NEA,” he said, adding that he hoped that this time the problem and conflict in Daneco would end.

Daneco has some 125,000 member-consumers and services the whole province of Compostela Valley and most of the towns and cities of Davao del Norte except Panabo City, the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) and the towns of Carmen, Sto. Tomas and Braulio E. Dujali.

Since July 2012, two factions of Daneco leadership have been warring against each other resulting to the emergence of Daneco-CDA and Daneco-NEA groups and two sets of managements, board of directors and collection activities.

The NEA-sacked officials trooping under Daneco-CDA stuck on and engaged in series of court and quasi-judicial battles while physically holding for more than six months the Daneco Tipaz office in Tagum City until the office was forcibly closed by a sheriff backed up by provincial police following a break-open-closure order from the Court of Appeals.

However, the Daneco-CDA faction subsequently set up their new office at the Philippine Cooperative Union (PCU) office in Barangay Magdum, Tagum City and continued their collection activities.

The faction set up collection center in Gaisano Mall of Tagum directly competing with the Daneco-NEA collection in the same mall. Also, it set up a collection unit in the premises of barangay hall of Barangay Visayan Village in the city.

The Daneco-CDA’s new officials, no longer those sacked ones, claimed that they still operate legally as the CDA registration was only temporarily suspended by the CDA and pending Supreme Court’s resolution of the appealed case relating to the Writ of Preliminary Injunction issued earlier by the Court of Appeals. – Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte

Why not finally divide Daneco into Daneco 1 and Daneco 2?

Posted in daneco-cda, daneco-nea with tags on November 12, 2012 by cha monforte

HASHTAGS BREW

By Cha Monforte

 It’s good to hear that Congressman Anthony del Rosario is always shuttling back and forth, from Manila to his district, vice versa every week. He said during the Kapihan last Thursday that he’s been busy with his projects, one of which is electrification.  The downer side in his news is that the P30-million electrification fund he had accessed from the National Electrification Administration might not be released at all due to the persisting problem in Daneco. The Daneco problem- huhum, it’s breaking up into 2 managements, 2 OIC-GMs, 2 board of directors, 2 sets of employees, 2 collectors, etc  for 1 set of member-consumers- pesters and confuses the public, especially its owners- the dear member-consumers.  

I must confess to my dear readers that writing a news about Daneco these days is such a hard, difficult undertaking. An objective writer, journalist worth his salt, must swear and work to have balance in his presentation of the news. Sometimes though, because journalism is fast even if weekly, one can miss a point or two, or it depends on the newsworthiness of the press statements of the sources he quoted. That’s why a reader may sense that the writer is somehow bias to Daneco-NEA or Daneco-CDA. But that should not be the end of the story. After all, the Daneco problem is a long-running story.

Readers are advised that in this case, the worthiness of the press statements of the sources come as a good, largely unread material that needs ventilation or elucidation for the readers to appreciate how deep and big the Daneco problem is, so that the public, the Daneco member-consumers and  especially our elected public officials can be egged out to exert efforts, at least concern toward solving the Daneco problem ASAP. 

The problem now is that the Daneco problem has apparently turned violent as when men identified with the Daneco-CDA faction stormed last week the Daneco office in IGACOS held by Daneco-NEA faction resulting to the wounding a security guard of the latter and the filing of frustrated murder cases against some 7 suspects. It seems there’s no turning back anymore from this ugly war, this divisive tug-of-war between the Daneco-NEA and Daneco-CDA factions. While their court battles have been ongoing towards the Supreme Court after that Court of Appeals’ WPI (writ of preliminary injunction) to Daneco-CDA and subsequently, the suspension of CDA registration, the Daneco-CDA faction is still much on the hold and control of Daneco’s Tagum office at Tipaz as of press time.  

This quarter sees that it doesn’t mean that this Daneco problem can’t be solved out of the court. That is,  if parties would only be flexible than be legally combatant and especially if Daneco-CDA faction wouldn’t be so filibustering legal procedures even a sheriff’s execution of court order.  But both protagonists would seem to be legally obsessed! If that’s the case we can’t see an out-of-court settlement in the near horizon.

But this doesn’t mean that Malacanang can’t intervene even while parties are in court. I’ve read a case of an electric cooperative questioning the intervention of Malacanang to CDA’s favorable action to an EC (I just lose the thread in the internet and I’m in a hurry). To make the story short, they reached the Supreme Court, and the SC ruled that Malacanang can’t unmake what the CDA made for an EC. OMG, the Daneco-CDA can replicate this if in case new DOE Secretary Jericho Petilla comes up with a presidential directive to intervene and solve the Daneco problem, favoring Daneco-NEA, of course since he’s a DOE sec. The Daneco-CDA faction can buy more time, and hold at bay Daneco’s Tipaz office. But since the CDA had suspended Daneco’s CDA registration, their time bought can only be short (but who knows they can lengthen their stay given that they have the Tipaz collections to carry on a protracted legal fight).

I have this unsolicited proposal and this might be the shortest route towards solving the Daneco problem. Why not divide Daneco into 2 entities? Daneco 1 for Comval areas for the Daneco-NEA, and Daneco 2 for Davao del Norte areas for Daneco-CDA? The Daneco in IGACOS would be better sold to Aboitiz/Davao Light and the proceeds be would divided equally or proportionately between Daneco 1 and Daneco 1. How’s this proposal?

#Hash  & Tags: I forgot that the name of my Visayan column in tabloids is Tsa Pwera, so I’m having a new column name that is trendy…. Tagum City Councilor and vice mayoral aspirant Boyet Gementiza is having  jaded eye these days. Maybe  Councilor Mylene Baura is still on her topnotch ratings. But be wary that people who are already on the top have nowhere to go but go down…. Heard that Comval Boardmember Kristine Mae Caballero was penalized, politically. After his father, ex Gov. Joecab filed his CoC for boardmember for next year’s polls, her legislative staffers were not reappointed by outgoing Vice Gov. Ramil Gentugaya  for “loss of confidence”.  (For comments, email: chamonforte@yahoo.com)

Despite CDA’s cease order, DANECO-CDA group holds special assembly

Posted in Benedicto Ongking, Brendo Ceniza, daneco-cda, daneco-nea, Dean Briz, Engr. Dan Gervacio, Engr. Gerald Osorio, Eugenio Ramonida, Miguel Fermil, Reynaldo Bandala, Roberto Alam, Roberto Binasbas, roman calicdan with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 24, 2012 by cha monforte

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Despite a standing cease-and-desist order from the Cooperative Development Authority, the  group of former officials of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative who have been separately holding on Daneco’s Tagum office pushed through the special general assembly of member-consumers last Sunday, Oct. 21 at a school in Tagum City.

During the assembly the group known as Daneco-CDA, for wanting Daneco to be converted into a stock cooperative under CDA, secured support from Bayan Muna partylist Rep. Teddy Casiño, ex-Senator Agapito “Butz” Aquino and partylist groups from cooperative sector.

Guesting on the assembly, Rep. Casiño warned that the National Electrification Administration’s takeover to Daneco is a prelude to takeover by private corporations “which are only after for huge profits.” He said that under a cooperative scheme, Daneco could be exempt from paying taxes and other fees and would allow member-consumers to avail of cheaper power rates.

Aquino, on the other hand, stressed on the benefits of cooperativism and encouraged member-consumers to strengthen their cooperative.

The Daneco-CDA group has been the subject of a cease-and-desist order of the CDA after the latter temporarily suspended last Sept. 28 Daneco’s CDA registration following an amended writ of preliminary injunction issued earlier by the Court of Appeals against the same group.

However, Atty. Glenn Blair Carnicer, legal counsel of the Daneco-CDA group, charged that the CDA’s order as illegal, done without investigation and thus done without due process.

The group have been filibustering and physically defiant thus far to sheriff’s execution of court order based on the writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) issued by the Court of Appeal.

The first CA’s WPI last August affirmed the power of NEA to dismiss erring officials of an electric cooperative and the CA’s amended WPI in mid October prohibited “the respondents, their agents and representatives from exercising their powers as directors of Daneco.”

The special assembly, the second the group called this year, managed to elect new set of officers different to those 10 officials who were dismissed by NEA last July 30 after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty stemming from some 11 allegations in an administrative complaint filed by a group of member-consumers October last year.

The new set of officers vowed to pursue what the old set of officers started, bemuddling the issue on accountability and leadership of the group although the old set of officers and their political backers were suspected by the opposing group to have only introduced new leadership in trying to evade and skirt the NEA and court and quasi-judicial orders that hounded them.

Reports said the Daneco-CDA group claimed that the assembly held at Tagum National High School at Manga, Tagum City was attended by more than 13,000 members, but some estimated that there were only more 3,000 attendees.

The Daneco-NEA group called the special general assembly “illegal” owing to the standing orders from the CDA and the CA. Days before the assembly, the Daneco-NEA group reportedly distributed tens of thousands of leaflets to households asking member-consumers not to attend the activity. 

Sources said that the new officers were also elected “not by thousands but hundreds of votes” only from those attending the assembly, as the winning members of the board of directors representing the Mawab and Tagum districts had only garnered more than 40 votes and more than 200 votes, respectively. 

The special assembly is the latest that has drawn another tug-of-war between the two contesting groups.

Tuesday last week, the holding-out Daneco-CDA group deployed boom trucks barring the entrance and exit gates of Daneco Tagum office at Tipaz, Magugpo East, Tagum City as reportedly they were fearful of possible “forcible entry” of the Daneco-NEA group of officials who remain to control the Daneco main office in Montevista, Compostela Valley.

The deployment followed after Daneco-NEA group made a press conference. This group had tried twice in the past to make management takeover but the holding-out Daneco-CDA group foiled them.

The Daneco-CDA group has been physically occupying the Daneco Tagum office since July and has been holding on its management and separately collecting power bill payments.

The Daneco-NEA group through its legal counsel Jeorge Rapista, said in a press conference that CDA “found merits on the complaint” filed last June 25 by a group of member-consumers who wanted Daneco’s CDA registration revoked.

But Atty. Carnicer charged that the CDA’s order by its chairman Emmanuel Santiaguel ia “a void order, (which) has no force nor effect.”

Earlier, Carnicer bared that all of those dismissed by NEA were no longer performing their functions. Reynaldo Bandala, appointed OIC general manager, who was subject of the CA’s amended PWI was said to have been replaced lately by a Engr. Gerald Osorio, reportedly a pro-Daneco-CDA employee. On the other hand, Daneco-NEA has its different OIC GM, Benedicto Ongking, who was appointed by NEA.

As this developed, the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AMRECO), a group of all power cooperatives in Mindanao, had acknowledged Daneco under the supervision of NEA. Its president Sergio Dagooc told reporters last week that they were calling member-consumers of Daneco to patronize only the Daneco under NEA and not the Daneco-CDA group.

Last April 30, 2012 the NEA’s five-man Board of Administrators chaired by Dept. of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras dismissed all the 9 respondent directors and a former OIC GM after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.

Dismissed were board president Dean Briz, board treasurer Ananias Darjan Jr, and director-members Brendo Ceniza, Miguel Fermil, Roberto Binasbas, Eugenio Ramonida, Roman Calicdan, Roberto Alam, and Engr. Dan Gervacio, and the former OIC GM Felix Hibionada.

In that order, NEA only suspended former OIC GM Nelson Balangan for 30 days after he was found guilty of simple neglect of duty. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte)

NEWSFEATURE: “DANECO-CDA” vs “DANECO-NEA”: The tug-of-war between 2 electric coops in 1

Posted in daneco-cda, daneco-nea with tags , , , , , , on October 12, 2012 by cha monforte

(1st in two parts)

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

 The latest in the divisive conflict raging inside the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) is that a group is now waving a white flag with a big “if” emblazoned on it.

The group of officials of Daneco who have taken control of the Daneco’s Tagum office have promised to resign come the Oct. 21 special general they had earlier called for.

In a press conference last Tuesday held at Daneco Tagum office at Tipaz, Barangay East, Tagum City, board director Engr. Abiner Labja and “Daneco-CDA” OIC general manager Reynaldo Bandala both echoed their group’s position of resigning but on the condition that the Daneco member-consumers would accede to it.

The group controlling what they called as “Daneco-CDA” in their aggressive bid to put Daneco under the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and bolt from the control and supervision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) has recently faced a problem that might empty them of legality to further hold on when the CDA itself suspended Daneco’s CDA registration pending resolution of a case filed before the Court of Appeals (CA).

Since July the “Daneco-CDA” group has been holding on Daneco Tagum office and its entire management over Tagum office’s area of jurisdiction in Davao del Norte including the collection of power bill payments, leaving the Compostela Valley area under the management of “Daneco-NEA” based at the main office in Montevista, Compostela Valley. NEA designated an employee Benedicto Ongking as the OIC GM to work side by side with the NEA Project Supervisor Evangelito Estaca.

But later most of Daneco Tagum office’s regular employees deserted their pro-CDA management, went to “Daneco-NEA” side and started collecting payments for power bills using the hot open areas of power substations in the city as their temporary offices.

Before they left they downed the server of computers in the office and carted away the computer program containing the vast records of member-consumers.

Since then Tagum City has become an arena in the tug-of-war of collection activities of two contesting “Daneco-CDA” and “Daneco-NEA” groups or managements, creating confusions to among member-consumers in the Tagum and Davao del Norte areas as two different electric bills come arriving in energized households.

CDA REGISTRATION

In an order dated September 28, CDA chairman Emmanuel Santiaguel ordered for the suspension of Daneco’s CDA Certification of Registration No. 9520-11021778, issued on May 21, 2012.

The CDA also directed “all persons” acting by virtue of the certificate of registration to “cease and desist from further performing and exercising their powers and functions.”

But in last Tuesday’s press conference, the group called on Santiaguel to recall his suspension order and stand for the conversion of Daneco into stock cooperative, which they claimed to have already been realized when member-consumers voted an “overwhelming” 49,056 yes votes in favor to CDA as against the 1,773 votes for NEA in a series of referendum held last May.

A large majority of Daneco’s employees however, went against the CDA, as they preferred NEA to continue supervising the 41-year old electric cooperative. They claimed that the referenda were sham and were rushed to save the board and management officials who were subject of dismissal by NEA due to an administrative case they were facing.

Daneco has over 125,000 member-consumers and is considered to be the biggest business in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Compostela Valley, its franchise area, less the towns of Carmen, Sto. Tomas and BE Dujali and Panabo City in Davao del Norte, which are catered by the Aboitiz-owned Davao Light and Power Corporation. In 2011 Daneco generated a total revenue of P1.8 billion.

Also, Atty. Glenn Blair Carnicer, legal counsel of the “Daneco-CDA” group, assailed Santiaguel’s action as violative to Section 67 of Republic Act No. 9520, otherwise known as Cooperative Code of the Philippines, saying that the order was bereft of CDA board resolution.

DEFIANT

But the “Daneco-CDA” group for all their aggressive legal recourses, legal-procedural filibustering to court orders and open defiance to be booted from their posts since April had managed to foil last Oct. 3 the attempt of a sheriff backed up by a group of provincial policemen in full battle gear to implement a WPI (writ of preliminary injunction) from the Court of Appeals for the group to give way and turnover the management of Daneco Tagum City office.

On that day, sheriff Renato Suarez of the Regional Trial Court Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley arrived at the vicinity of Daneco Tagum office and served the order to Bandala.

Reports said that prior the serving, the sheriff, accompanied by policemen led by Davao del Norte provincial police director PSSupt. Edgardo Wycoco and armed security guards from the Security Agency and Guard Supervision Section, disarmed the security guards from Christian Investigative and Security Agency (CISA) manning the office and drove out customers.

A group of Daneco employees were also reportedly lurking around to support the supposed takeover via a sheriff’s order.

But the “Daneco-CDA” group resisted, stood their ground and particularly Atty. Carnicer, fuming mad, ordered office employees to physically bar the sheriff and his group, reports added.

They insisted the sheriff carried no order for takeover but only the ouster of Bandala.

After that, the group cried harassment and vowed to file a case against the sheriff and his company. Suarez group reportedly backed out to avoid violence from breaking out due to heated atmosphere.

Bandala insisted however that the sheriff carried an order that had no signatures of associate justices.

Bandala said Tuesday that while the WPI is not yet around he would continue serving as the OIC GM.

THE COMPLAINT

In October 2011, a group of seven member-consumers lodged an administrative complaint to NEA containing some 11 allegations involving anomalous biddings and disbursements, overpricing in the purchase of substation, unauthorized claims, questionable policy decisions, defiance to NEA’s regulatory powers, among others.

The complainant-member consumers who lodged the case docketed as NEA ADM Case No. 01-10-11 were Gregorio Ybanez, Khernie Bahan, Epifanio Alfeche, Paulito Villaceran, Jr., George Monares, Juan Esperanza and Arnold Dinopol.

Respondents were board president Dean Briz, board treasurer Ananias Darjan Jr, and director-members Brendo Ceniza, Miguel Fermil, Roberto Binasbas, Eugenio Ramonida, Roman Calicdan, Roberto Alam, and Engr. Dan Gervacio, and the two former OIC GMs Nelson Balangan and Felix Hibionada.

Directors Alam and Gervacio later swore as pro-NEA and dissociated from the group although both had to be dismissed the same.

On April 30, 2012 the NEA’s five -man Board of Administrators chaired by Dept. of Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras dismissed all the 9 respondent directors and former OIC GM Hibionada after they were found guilty of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty.

The dismissal carries the other penalties such as cancellation of eligibility to run for the position of electric cooperative director, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification for re-employment in any rural EC.

NEA only suspended Balangan for 30 days after he was found guilty of simple neglect of duty.

The termination came a few days before the scheduled referendum on May 5 and 6, May 12 and 13 and May 19 and 20, which the group pursued contrary to NEA’s order to hold the referendum in abeyance.

The referendum would ask member-consumers whether they would go for the conversion of Daneco as stock cooperative under CDA, for status quo under NEA or as stock corporation under the Securities and Exchange Commission. (TO BE CONTINUED) (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte with various news reports)

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NEWSFEATURE

“DANECO-CDA” vs “DANECO-NEA”: The tug-of-war between 2 electric coops in 1

(Last in two parts)

By Cha Monforte, Rural Urban News

Despite the dismissal order of NEA, the terminated officials belonging to “Daneco-CDA” group refused to vacate from their posts. They banked on the assertion that they were still on motion for the reconsideration even as they demanded for a formal hearing on their case in a court.

They cried injustice claiming that under their watch Daneco has become financially and operationally stable compared to the previous two managements.

The Daneco Board submitted a motion to conduct a formal hearing on the case against them since there only two hearings held- a mandatory hearing which was held on January 26, 2012 and a Clarificatory Hearing held on March 12, 2012.

However, even before a resolution was reached, the NEA Board of Administrators issued a memorandum on March 20, 2012 stating that the case is deemed submitted for resolution. Despite appeals from Daneco Board, they were terminated on May 2, 2012, three days prior to the scheduled referendum.

The holding-out group is not without political backing. Compostela Valley Governor Arturo Uy and Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy did not hide their support for the conversion of Daneco into stock cooperative and to the pro-CDA group.

Besides, the “Daneco-CDA” management found support from some partylist representatives such as Rep. Cresente C. Paez of COOP-NATCCO and Rep. Nicanor M. Briones of the AGAP Partylist, who made privilege speech regarding Daneco’s situation in Congress. Both assailed the interference, bias, partiality, and manipulation of NEA to Daneco.

Supporting partylist representatives talked about how NEA moves in not giving up electric cooperatives so easily to become real cooperatives like eating peanuts as against the EPIRA law, and on how NEA has been making ECs in the country as their milking cows.

Davao del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario, on the other hand, seems to be ambivalent and neutral to the Daneco issue until at press time.

TROs

The dismissed officials then applied for a 72-hour temporary restraining order before RTC Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley. On May 3, the court granted the TRO on the NEA decision.

Because of the supposed termination of the members of the board, NEA Administrator Editha Bueno issued a memorandum to Daneco on May 4, 2012, in the afternoon instructing the deferment of the scheduled referendum. It was defied by the group.

The first round of referendum on May 5 for the towns of Maco, Mabini, Pantukan, Maragusan and Mawab in Compostela Valley did not materialize as Daneco employees tasked to supervise the referendum did not show up. The “Daneco-CDA” group cried sabotage.

However, other referendum proceeded as scheduled as the group excluded the opposing employees from the tasks. Towards midway there was a TRO from an RTC in Tagum City issued to stop the referendum but just the same it was defied by the “Daneco-CDA” group.

In late July RTC Branch 3 Executive Judge Hilaron Clapis Jr after extending twice the original 72-hour TRO to 30 days then 20 days, further issued an injunction against the NEA for its order of termination rendered against the members of the board.

This prompted a complainant group to file a motion requesting the CA to issue a TRO against the order of the RTC Branch 3 and later applied for an issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction.

1st TAKEOVER ATTEMPT

On June 30, Saturday, armed with TRO from CA, the “Daneco-NEA” group led by NEA Deputy Administrator Ed Piamonte, Estaca and pro-NEA Daneco directors Rodolfo Ang, Gervacio and Rolando Bugas, former Daneco OIC GM Allan Laniba and complainant Gregorio Ybañez, their legal counsels and opposing Daneco employees tried but failed to make a takeover of Daneco Tagum office. It was the eve of the special general assembly called by the “Daneco-CDA” group on Sunday at Maco gym.

Leaders of “Daneco-CDA” group led by their spokesman ex-Congressman Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora hotly contested the TRO in five-hour intense negotiations.

The group reportedly forced their way to enter the office premises, breaking up the steel chains that tied the closed gates. Presence of police and military on guard outside the office compound was noted.

Zamora and his counsel argued that the 60-day TRO could not be served by the lawyers but by the court sheriff. They also said that the TRO only prohibited the 9 directors from performing and it did not specifically state they had to make a takeover. Gov. Uy and Mayor Uy later arrived in the scene.

The July 1 special general assembly was hailed by the “Daneco-CDA” group as the first of Daneco under a CDA regime when set of officers were swore in, and requirements for CDA registration were confirmed. There are least 8,000 member-consumers attending it, though opposing Daneco employees alleged that most of whom were barrio folks ferried thru hakot system. 

In evident reprisal, on July 4, the “Daneco-CDA” management put 57 employees under preventive suspension without pay for 30 days. On the next days, the suspended employees started encamping for a picket infront the Daneco office at Tipaz.

GOV-SEC AGREMENT

On June 6, Gov. Uy, Energy Secretary Almendras and the late DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo reportedly met in Manila to try solving Daneco’s worsening conflict.

On July 9 upon his return to his province Gov. Uy bared to the public that he and the secretaries agreed for the meantime that while there was a TRO the 9 dismissed directors and Hibionada would not hold office, and at the latter’s stead employee Reynaldo Bandala would have to be the OIC GM. He would work jointly with NEA Project Supervisor Estaca. Bandala is a protégé of Hibionada.

On the same day, Uy then instructed Bandala to order for a return to work of the 57 employees whom Hibionada and company suspended without pay for thirty days.

It was said that this interregnum had freed the P80 million on joint account with Estaca as co-signatory to pay for the power bill obligations to PSALM.  NATCCO Partylist Rep. Paez  in his privilege speech last September 3 bared that Daneco  had pending P106-million obligations to PSALM and P34 million to the National Grid Corporation.

“While the cooperative holds P160 million from its collections in May and in June, which is now in its new depository bank, EastWest Bank, it cannot dispense the fund properly as there is an interpleading case on who should be the signatory for bank transactions of the cooperative,” Paez said.

Earlier, NEA Administrator Bueno specifically wrote the managers of the United Coconut Planters Bank and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Daneco’s depository banks, authorizing Estaca to sign and countersign all checks and other banking transactions of Daneco.

But just a few days when Bandala and Estaca were assumed to work jointly, on July 10 NEA administrator Bueno, who was visiting Daneco with DOE Undersecretary Ina Magpale Asirit, appointed Ongking as Daneco OIC GM, violating the reported agreement between Sec. Almendras and Gov. Uy. She also issued a memo terminating newly-hired job-order employees.

But before Ongking could warm his seat at Daneco Tagum office, the “Daneco-CDA” group moved in and seized the control and management of the Daneco Tagum office with Bandala as its OIC GM. They vowed to bar Estaca and his agents from entering Daneco Tagum premises.

On July 15 at the prodding of “Daneco-CDA” group some 300 people claiming to be member-consumers held a rally infront the tightly-guarded Daneco main office at Montevista. They wanted NEA to leave Daneco, declaring that Daneco is already under CDA. The protesters were however countered by Daneco employees praying rosary.

Sketchy reports swirled that the “Daneco-CDA” group with their CISA guards was out to forcibly barge in the Montevista office but was held at bay by the “Daneco-NEA” group’s own guards and rosary-praying employees.

Meantime, it was then when the Tagum employees returned to work that they shortly deserted to go to the “Daneco-NEA” management and worked for the separate collection of power bill payments from member-consumers. They made a good break as earlier they had been posing overt and covert internal resistance to their pro-CDA management in the areas of cash deposits, withdrawals, vaults and account signatories.

As most regular employees of Daneco Tagum office left the pro-CDA management, the “Daneco-CDA” group was accused to have employed new job-order employees in what appeared as scabs-like employment.

CA’s INJUNCTION

Later, the “Daneco-NEA” group secured a new legal victory at the CA when in a 15-page decision penned by Associate Justice Marilyn Lagura-Yap and issued last August 29, the CA granted the application for a writ of preliminary injunction.

In her ruling, Yap said the member-consumers gave “more persuasive reasons” to grant the injunction “because the respondents, particularly Hibionada, occupied and took over the Daneco despite the issuance of TRO.”

It added that the respondents also appointed Rey Bandala as Daneco’s OIC general manager, who collects payments from the member-consumers.

“Whether true or not, this enforces the necessity for issuance of a WPI (writ of preliminary injunction). We cannot afford a scenario, that while the main case is pending, two contending factions will control Daneco,” the order read.

“This will obviously be detrimental to Daneco as an institution and to its member-consumers,” Yap said in her ruling.

However, the petitioners and the sheriff of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley alleged that the injunction was not enforced since Bandala refused to heed the resolution as it did not specifically prohibit those acting for in behalf of the dismissed employees.

Thus, the “Daneco-NEA” group asked the CA for a revised injunction. In a nine-page resolution promulgated on September 26 and signed by Associate Justices Marilyn B. Lagura-Yap, Edgardo A. Camello and Renato C. Francisco, the appellate court amended its previous resolution, which prohibited some members of the board of directors of the cooperative from performing their tasks, by including a certain Rey Bandala.

In the previous resolution, it only stated that Bandala was appointed by the respondents as Daneco’s OIC general manager, who collects payments from the members-consumers.

The CA ruled that the sheriff shall continue its authority to serve the second resolution issued by the CA that includes Bandala in the injunction.

STRANGE EVENTS

Meanwhile, in strange and separate turn of events, the NEA-designated OIC GM Ongking was shot but was unharmed last August 15 by still unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants in tandem while he was delivering his child to school in Tagum City. His driver sustained gunshot wound in his hand. The Tagum police is still clueless on the motive of Ongking’s shooting at press time.

Earlier, Judge Clapis was dismissed from service for conducting bail hearings without petition for bail filed by an accused in a criminal case.

In a 16-page decision promulgated on July 17, Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and other 13 associate justices dismissed Judge Hilarion P. Clapis Jr. of Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 3 in Nabunturan, Compostela Valley for gross misconduct and gross ignorance of the law.

WORRIES

As the two groups continue in their legal, management and collection tug-of-war, not a few member-consumers are asking which group will pay for the millions-worth power bill obligations of Daneco to PSALM and the National Grid Corporation due for the Tagum and Davao del Norte areas.

And despite intense pressures from the Palace-connected “Daneco-NEA” management and the visibly tightening legal noose to “Daneco-CDA” management, there is a question on whether the latter can still stretch time and the limits of defying court orders to continue clinging to guarded posts when the sheriff would return to them one of these days. (Rural Urban News/Cha Monforte with various news reports)

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Rural Urban News (RUN) is a blog-based community news and narrative reportage advocacy group promoting web-based citizen journalism. https://cha4t.wordpress.com. contact cp no. 09392218348.