Council rejects request to suspend Zamcelco officials PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 February 2011 14:50

The Movement for Better Zamcelco’s request for support to its petition to the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to suspend the cooperative’s General Manager Reynerio Ramos was rejected by the City Council during its regular session yesterday.

The group, in a dialogue yesterday, urged the legislative body to possibly pass a resolution in support to their letter to NEA for the suspension of Ramos and the members of the board.
Nine councilors belonging to the majority bloc abstained from voting, three voted against and five voted in favor.

Those who voted in favor of the group’s request were the opposition councilors like Jihan Edding, Melchor Rey Sadain, Rommel Agan, Cesar Jimenez Jr.and Rodolfo Bayot.

Councilors Rey Candido, Myra Abubakar, Noning Biel, Eddie Saavedra, Nonong Guingona, Lilia Nuno, Gerky Valesco, Percival Ramos and Vincent Paul Elago have abstained from voting while Abdurahman Nuno, Rudy Lim and Jaime Cabato objected to the resolution which was sponsored by Councilor Jimenez.

The multi-sectoral group led by Eng. Santiago Navarro who was invited to the regular session pleaded to the august body to support their cause by passing a resolution asking NEA to suspend the Zamcelco officials because their continued stay has demoralized some of the employees who thought that nothing has been done to lead Zamcelco into the right direction.
Navarro, who has been appointed by NEA to sit as one of Zamcelco’s board members, expressed belief that Project Supervisor Eng. Jesus Castor is doing his best in stride to save Zamcelco that should have been done by the GM and the board.

He said that their letter calls for the preventive suspension of Ramos for reasons like his (Ramos) presence in the coop could cause intimidation and influence subordinates who could come forward and provide evidence of his alleged wrongdoings.

“As GM he can continue dispensing favors and potentially influence the outcome of the investigation,” Navarro said.   

He said that Ramos could also hide some of the documents which are very important in the course of the investigation.

He added that Ramos and the board members could also use the services of Zamcelco corporate lawyers to advise them on corporate matters which should not be the case especially advising them on their personal defense and using Zamcelco resources.

The other reason, he said is” it gives the appearance that business as usual, employees go there they see the same people, the same shadows over everybody.”

Navarro pointed out that House Representatives Isabelle Climaco Salazar and Erbie A. Fabian have signed the regional call of the multi-sectoral group calling President Noynoy Aquino to look into the matter.            

Councilor Valesco explained his abstention vote not because he does not want Ramos to be punished but on the ground that Navarro should have modified his position not only calling for Ramos’ suspension but also to include NEA officials who approved the expenditures and that Navarro failed to pinpoint the board of directors who are also liable.

Councilor Cabato said suspending Ramos and the board will only ridicule and humiliate the coop officials in public.

Councilor Nuno said there should be due process and fairness to the beleaguered coop officials.
Councilor Agan said suspending the concerned officials is not a penalty rather  it seeks to prevent them from interfering into the investigation.

Atty. Kim Elago, one of the lawyers of the group, who was asked to give his side, called the august body to help the group by approving the resolution to make their position with NEA much stronger.
“We beg you in bended knees to help push for the suspension of the concerned coop officials because we cannot dip our fingers into the evidences inside Zamcelco because they are there,” Elago said.

He said at present Zamcelco owes the National Power Corporation P1 billion in debt  and it continues to increase.

“The only way to help the coop is to take out the ‘bad apples’,” the former councilor stressed. — Jimmy Villaflores