ERC commissioners ask CSC to hold agency chief liable over grave misconduct

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ERC Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar

(CNN Philippines, April 19) — Energy Regulatory Commission officials are seeking administrative penalties against their chief, Jose Salazar, for alleged dishonesty, oppression, and grave misconduct.

In a complaint filed before the Civil Service Commission (CSC), ERC commissioners accused Salazar of violating laws and civil service regulations.

Salazar has supposedly been disregarding the opinion of commissioners when it comes to appointments within the ERC.

Read: Power struggle at ERC over appointments

The commisioners explained this violates Executive Order (EO) 172 which created the ERC. The EO states the commission has the power to appoint the executive director, and members of the technical staff.

"Chairman Salazar, in his capacity as chief executive officer, has solely been exercising this power to appoint, deliberately excluding the other members of the commission," the commissioners said in the complaint filed before the CSC on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

They are questioning the promotion and appointment of certain individuals to officer-in-charge or director positions even if they lack qualifications.

Besides violating the law, commissioners said appointing unqualified staff will have a negative impact on frontline services.

"Chairman Salazar hired and promoted ERC officers without their meeting qualification standards required for the positions, in contravention of ERC Qualification Standards as approved by the Civil Service Commission," read the complaint.

Commissioners Alfredo Non, Josefina Magpale-Asirit, Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc, and Geronimo Sta. Ana signed the complaint.

They want the CSC to order the preventive suspension of Salazar pending resolution of the complaint.

A conflict between Salazar and the commissioners was first made public after the suicide of ERC Bids and Awards Committee head Francisco Villa.

Villa reporterly left suicide notes insinuating corruption within the ERC under Salazar's leadership.

Salazar is on leave.