PALECO Board of Directors Chairperson Jeffrey Tan-Endriga with other directors and PALECO officials discussing the situation of the electric cooperative in a press conference on Saturday

President Rodrigo Duterte’s vow to issue an executive order for a government takeover of the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) has not materialized, a week after he vowed to do so when he visited Palawan on November 4.

In a press conference mounted by the cooperative Saturday in a bid to drum up its opposition to the move, PALECO board chair Jeffrey Tan-Endriga said they have not received any communication on the matter from Malacanang or the Department of Energy.

“Sa part ng BOD, wala pa kami natatanggap,” he said.

President Duterte said in his rant against PALECO that he will issue the order to the Department of Energy (DOE) within seven days, citing its performance as the basis for the takeover.

Endriga however said no follow-up was made by any government agency about Duterte’s demand to turn over the cooperative. He also claimed that the planned move is illegal.

“Walang mangyayaring gano’n (takeover or expropriation) dahil maipapakita natin dito ‘yong ating performance upang manatili ang ating kooperatiba,” he said.

“Lahat tayo ay covered ng batas. Meron tayong Philippine Constitution, titingnan natin ang legalidad nito. We respect of the decision ng ating mahal na presidente pero dapat ito ay dumaan sa tamang proseso. May batas tayo and lagi natin sinasabi na nobody’s above the law. Kung nakalagay dito, kung talagang pabaya ang ating operation ng kooperatiba, ako mismo, bilang representante ng MCO ang siyang susulong upang buwagin ang kooperatiba. Pero hindi,” he added.

The electric cooperative kicked off a signature campaign to gather support from its members and employees to appeal that the situation of PALECO is a common scenario in every province such as power interruption. He noted that it is common for areas in small power utilities group (SPUG) and not connected to the main grids.

It also submitted a letter to present the accomplishments and future activities of PALECO.

“I think napadala na pero wala pa nagkaroon ng response dito. We hope na natanggap na nila,” he said.

He believed that they will look on PALECO records and not just based on “hearsay” and comments.

Endriga took a swipe at city councilor Elgin Dasmaco, as the chair of the City Council’s committee on energy who supported the expropriation.

“Chairman siya ng committee on energy, anong naitulong niya bilang chairman ng committee?” he said.

Endriga added that the board is willing to defend the electric cooperative in court.

“Sa amin kasi, ilalaban natin pero syempre titingnan natin ang pros and cons at kung ano talaga ang kailangan gawin. Kung nakita natin na talagang kailangan ilaban, ‘yong PALECO management ay nandiyan para ipaglaban ang ating kooperatiba,” said Napoleon Cortes Jr., human resource department and administration manager.