MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) on Wednesday (July 7) refuted Senator Manny Pacquiao’s corruption allegations, saying the senator lacked research on the issue.
Pacquiao claimed that the energy department awarded the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) a contract without going through any bidding process.
“Mula sa P7,000 paid-up capital ay naging instant billion-peso company ang IEMOP sa loob lamang po ng isang taon,” according to Pacquiao.
(From a P7,000 paid-up capital, the IEMOP instantly became a billion-peso company in just one year.)
During a public briefing on Wednesday, DOE Asec. Gerardo Erguiza Jr. denied these claims and stated that the senator lacked research regarding the issue.
“Medyo ill-advised po yata dito si Sen. Pacquiao at kulang ng research no, dahil wala pong ganoon na pangyayari dito,” he said.
(Senator Pacquiao must have been ill-advised and lacked research because no such thing has happened here.)
Erguiza said that there was no need to go through any bidding process and that the IEMOP is under the mandate of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA). He reiterated that the DOE is not involved in the operations of the IEMOP.
“Hindi naman involved ang DOE sa pagpapatakbo ng independent market operator. Pagdating sa operations, wala hong pakialam ang Department of Energy diyan,” he said.
(The DOE is not involved in the business of the independent market operator. The DOE has nothing to do with the operations.)
However, the DOE official said they are prepared to face any hearing and are willing to provide documents regarding any investigation on the alleged corruption.
Meanwhile, Senator Richard Gordon said the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee would need basis and evidence regarding Pacquiao’s allegations before conducting any hearing. Gordon said they have not received requests or any documents from Pacquiao.
“Investigation of corruption cases must proceed but my committee cannot investigate based merely on newspaper accounts. I have neither received any request nor has any Resolution been filed regarding Senator Manny Pacquiao’s allegations. Moreover, no documents have been shared with us,” he said in a statement.
“The Blue Ribbon must know what it will be specifically investigating. It cannot go willy-nilly into any battlefield without knowledge of the what, the who, the how, the when, and the damage it caused the government. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the specificity of the allegations,” he added.
However, Gordon said he has instructed the Blue Ribbon staff, as well as his own office staff, to get in touch with the authorities to find out any basis regarding the issues and will immediately act accordingly. -AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)