Magalong asks Rafael to back out from Beneco

“Atty. Ana Marie Rafael should take the initiative to inform the National Electrification Administration that she is no longer interested in the position as general manager of Benguet Electric Cooperative.”

This was the unsolicited advice of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong to the woman who was the NEA-appointed general manager of Beneco after witnessing the overwhelming support of member-consumers to incumbent General Manager Engr. Melchor Licoben in a public protest against the forcible take-over of the electric utility’s offices on Wednesday, October 21.

The NEA-appointed individuals enforced a take-over of Beneco’s management on Monday, October 18 disregarding the status quo order of the House Committee on Energy pending the resolution of legal inquiries and audit procedures affecting the electric distribution utility.

Employees and member-consumers held several public vigils protesting the NEA order installing Rafael as Beneco manager. Rafael was forced to get out of the Beneco South Drive office following the protest and employees went back to work 

“They (NEA-appointees) may still attempt to take-over unless there is an order from the President or from Malacañang for them to step aside. We will do our best to help resolve this in a mature way and peacefully with no lies or deception,” Magalong said.

“Atty. Rafael should be realistic and accept the fact that she cannot really take over the management of BENECO. Her backers should also know the real situation and accept that they do not have the capacity and moral ascendancy to takeover the industry,” Magalong furthered.

Magalong said as a member-consumer himself, the priority for both parties should be the delivery of service to the public especially that parts of Baguio City and Benguet still have no electricity due to typhoon Maring.

As a way to show his support, Magalong sent a message to Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea saying consumers are greatly affected with the bruhaha on leadership of Beneco. The mayor appealed for the presidential secretary to address the issue with a sense of urgency.

The mayor said Medialdea responded, “will look into this. 

Magalong reiterated his unwavering support to the leadership of Licoben as general manager of Beneco based on competence, technical knowledge, decisiveness and fast response to the concerns of the consumers. — PIO Baguio