The palace has decided to dismiss the currently suspended Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairman and CEO Jose Vicente Salazar due to grave misconduct and corruption in the procurement system.
The decision stated that Salazar was found guilty of simple misconduct after renewing seven electric power purchase agreements of FDC Utilities Inc. Misamis with different distribution utilities without consultation from the commissioners.
He was also found guilty for appointing officers and personnel in the agency without the concurrence and approval of the commissioners.
Apart from the latter mentioned, Salazar was found guilty of grave misconduct with respect to ERC’s audio-visual presentation (AVP) projects, where issues in procurement were revealed by the late ERC director Francisco Jose Villa Jr in his suicide letters last year.
“However, with respect to the matter of procurement of the AVP project, all elements of corruption, clear intent to violate the law and flagrant disregard of established rule have been sufficiently demonstrated, as manifested in the various ways in which respondent Salazar tried to ensure that [Luis] Morelos would get the project,” the decision said.
Meanwhile, Salazar told the Philippine Star that he will make use of all legal options available to clear the accusations against him.
“This is not the end of the legal process. There are still options available and I intend to tap them. I am confident these options will help me bring out the truth and obtain the justice due me,” Salazar said.
Last July, the ERC Commissioners – Alfredo Non, Josefina Magpale – Asirit, Gloria Yap – Taruc and Geronimo Sta. Ana – seek help from President Duterte to remove Salazar from the ERC office due to insubordination, graft, and corruption issues.