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Concerned Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) officials must “voluntarily” resign or else the government would take “legal remedies” such as placing them under preventive suspension pending a corruption probe, a Palace official said yesterday.
Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag made the statement after the ERC officials defied President Duterte’s demand to resign over corruption allegations.
“We understand that the ERC officials have fixed terms of office and that’s the very reason why the President is exercising his moral suasion for these officials to voluntarily resign,” Banaag said in a Palace press briefing.
“May pamantayan ang ating Pa-ngulo kung paano ang pamumuno ng ahensya and he has been clear about fighting on corruption,” she added.
If the ERC officials cling to their posts, Banaag said: “There are other remedies, investigation is one, preventive suspension, and the President even had raised other options.”
“Once he arrives we will see how these options will push through,” she added.
The President earlier asked for the resignation of ERC officials following the suicide of an official allegedly pressured to sign irregular contracts. Duterte also said he would ask Congress to either disband or reorganize the ERC to eradicate the alleged systemic corruption in the agency.
Some ERC commissioner however said they would not step down and instead sought a dialogue with the President to explain their position.
Banaag said she was not aware if the Palace has already received the formal request from the ERC for a meeting with the President. (GENALYN KABILING)