By Ace Alegre
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
BANGUED, Abra – Political maneuvering has plunged Abra into total darkness because private run Aboitiz Power Renewables Inc. cut off its supply three days ago.
The blackout, general manager Loreto Seares Jr. explained, “has political underpinning as the governor wants me out at the expense of the 47,000 member-consumers and Abrenios as a whole.”
Abra’s electric supply was cut off by Aboitiz Monday noon apparently because of Abreco’s unpaid P4.9-million electricity fees.
Abreco was asking Aboitiz for more time to pay its current bill, particularly two to five days grace period, but just the same Abra was placed in total darkness Monday.
“Why make the people of Abra pawns in politics,” Seares Jr. lamented as he suspected Governor Eustaquio Bersamin has a lackey to replace the former ahead of the 2013 polls.
Instead of helping Abrenios, a political agenda went on with its way to “even ask Aboitiz to cut off instead of helping us ask the private firm to wait for more days until collections are at hand for the payment,” Seares said.
Just as power went off Monday noon, Abreco board president David Guzman Jr. received a phone call from the camp of Bersamin insinuating the Provincial Government could have saved the scenario “with Seares Jr. out from the cooperative.”
The new Philippine Cooperative Code bans political intervention into the internal affairs of cooperatives.
“I did not expect that the father of the province himself would sacrifice Abrenios for his political agenda,” Seares said. “It runs counter to the legacy of good governance,” he added.
Efforts to get comments of Bersamin were futile, though earlier, the provincial executive mouthed of helping the cooperative overcome its woes.
Meanwhile, Abra Representative Jocelyn Bernos, vice-chairperson of the House committee on Cooperative Development, is reportedly exhausting all efforts to help Abreco overcome the mess and asking Aboitiz time for the cooperative to pay its one month bill.
Aboitiz signed an agreement with Abreco on December 26, 2011.