Duterte fires Salazar from ERC

Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has dismissed from service Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar after he was found guilty of simple and grave misconduct in connection with allegations of corruption.

The decision, which was signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea by the authority of the President, stated that Salazar was “guilty of two counts of simple misconduct and one count of grave misconduct.”

Based on the Palace document, Salazar’s removal was due to “serious dishonesty, gross neglect of duty, and grave misconduct.”

With his dismissal, Salazar would be permanently banned from holding public office and stripped of retirement benefits, among others.

In a statement, the Office of the Executive Secretary (OES) said substantial evidence showed that Salazar tried various ways of influencing the process for the procurement of ERC’s audio visual project to ensure that his favored supplier gets the contract.

The OES likewise said the Mr. Duterte’s decision to fire Salazar was due to the finding that: “It was also undisputed that Atty. Salazar usurped the power of the ERC as a collegial body when he unilaterally issued orders in connection with the application for the renewal of the Electric Power Purchase Agreements between FDC Utilities, Inc. – Misamis and several distribution utilities, and when he appointed certain ERC officials and employees without the imprimatur of the other Commissioner.”

“The dismissal from Grave Misconduct carries with it all accessory penalties, including the perpetual disqualification from holding public office and forfeiture of retirement benefits,” the OES said.