7 mayors lead rally against power firm

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    CASTILLEJOS, Zambales – Hundreds of concerned consumers including 7 mayors in the 1st district here and undetermined number of village officials under its franchise area staged a rally in front of the Zambales Electric Cooperative II’s (Zameco II) main gate.

    Engineer Fidel Correa, Zameco II general manager, confirmed the mass action undertaken by local government units was more directed against coop President Jose B. Dominguez and members of the board of directors who were accused of “over-staying in office, corrupt and inefficient officials.”

    Correa identified the 7 local executives as town mayors Jeffrey Khonghun of Subic; Wilma Billman of Castillejos; Romeo Lonzanida of San Antonio; William Lim of San Narciso; Edilberto Abille of San Felipe; Ronald Apostol of Cabangan and Jose Rodriguez of San Marcelino and current Zambales Mayors League President.

    In a manifesto furnished to newsmen here, the mayors-led protesters alleged the following as their grounds for conducting mass action against Zameco II: 

    * The whole Zameco board members especially the president have current graft cases filed at the Supreme Court

    *Illegal disbursements of the coop fund worth over P65 million from year 2002 to present

    *Acceptance by the board members of P100, 000 cash gifts

    *Non-refunds to consumer- members about P60 million worth as approved and ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission on August 4 that awaits implementation by the management 

    *The questionable monthly payment of “Management Service Contract” to Philippine Power Distributors Investment Corporation (PPDIC) by Zameco II which was enforced without approval by the consumers’ general assembly.

    The town leaders in their speeches also assailed the alleged perpetuation of powers by the directors whose terms have reportedly reached 24 consecutive years now.

    “Nakakahiya sila. Puro makakapal ang mukha sa haba ng panahong panunungkulan andiyan pa sila, alis diyan” Mayor Rodriguez urged the Directors in his speech.

    “We will continue this rally until the president and members of the board step down from their post” the mayors said.

    But in a counter manifesto, Zameco II authorities assailed the protest action as deliberate and without basis and described it as “sub-judice” or contempt of court since some of the issues presented are still in the hands of the Supreme Court justices.

    Local police security forces in the area said the protest action was generally peaceful.

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