A case was filed against National Electrification Administration (NEA) Administrator Edgardo Masongsong by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) for allegedly allowing electric cooperatives to contribute funds for a party-list’s campaign back in 2019.
PACC chairman Greco Belgica said Wednesday that they have lodged a complaint against Masongsong before the Office of the Ombudsman. In a separate statement, the commission said it has recommended charges for violation of the Omnibus Election Code and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
According to the PACC, a number of board resolutions have been issued by electric cooperatives (ECs) for the use of funds to assist in the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association’s (Philreca) bid for a congressional seat during the 2019 national elections.
“NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong has never objected to the provisions of the said board resolutions,” the PACC said. It added that the law states, however, that persons operating a public utility are not allowed to contribute funds for purposes of partisan political activity.
“The PACC will follow the Ombudsman’s investigation until corrupt officials are formally charged in court and are legally held responsible,” the commission added.
Philreca party-list Rep. Presley De Jesus on Thursday slammed the accusations they received such political funding as “baseless and reckless.” Philreca is the umbrella organization of the 121 cooperatives across the country.
“We categorically deny the allegations and condemn any attempt to tarnish the name and reputation of the party-list. We request that PACC be more circumspect in dealing with this matter,” said De Jesus.
“In fact, had PACC been more thorough in their research, they would have known that electric cooperatives are not public entities. They are non-stock, non-profit membership organizations supervised by the NEA,” he added.
De Jesus said the PACC’s move stemmed from a “malicious” complaint it received from Philreca’s political opponents who “have repeatedly pestered us with cases with which we have responded to time and again.”
He claimed the party-list is willing to support any investigation into the matter and looks forward to clearing its name.