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President Rodrigo R. Duterte has threatened to abolish the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) after its commissioners defied his order to resign amid allegations of corruption in the agency.
Returning from his first Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Peru, the Chief Executive said he has received word that ERC commissioners have refused to step down.
“I demanded that they all resign. Ayaw ninyo, madali lang ‘yan. We will abolish the office,” Duterte said in a news conference upon his arrival at the Davao City International Airport late Wednesday.
“I will not grant any single centavo. You can stay there forever. I’ll set-up another (body),” he added.
The President earlier called for the resignation of all ERC officials in the wake of the suicide of its director, Francisco Villa, Jr., after exposing alleged corruption activities within the agency.
But some ERC commissioners said they are staying in their post as “resignation would not be to the best interest of the ERC.”
“How can I serve the people with a corrupt government kagaya ng nangyari sa opisina ninyo?” Duterte asked.
The President then said that aside from the creation of a new body if the ERC officials will not resign, he will also conduct his own audit and file charges against them in court.
“I will see to it that they will be (charged in court). Pag plunder, be sure that I will make it definite that you go to jail with no bail,” he said. (Elena L. Aben)