By Reynard Magtoto
LEGAZPI CITY, 19Sept2013 (BicolToday.com) After the irregularities in the recent Albay Electric Cooperative (ALECO) Referendum of September 14, multi-sectoral groups will continue to file protest regardless of the filing fee of Php 750, 000.00 imposed by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) to any group questioning the result of the referendum according to Vince Casilihan, Karapatan-Bikol spokeperson during the press briefing held at Rawis, Legazpi City, Wednesday.
The Albay Multisectoral Stakeholders Organization (AMSSO) who is spearheading the protest opposes a take-over by a private concessionaire of ALECO management as a result of the referendum.
AMSSO is not questioning the numerical result of the referendum.They said that the referendum failed to muster the number of consumers in order to constitute a quorum which is 5% under Section 22 of PD 269 and ALECO By-laws.
According to Atty. Bart Rayco of AMSSO, the result cannot be the basis for declaring a chosen option for the rehabilitation of ALECO because no business was vividly transacted based on the requirement of the law.
Aside from the incompliance of the By-laws of ALECO, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) recorded vote-buying, voter hauling and misuse of government resources day before the referendum and more violations committed during the referendum.
A Redemptorist priest personally saw the buying of votes and took a video of the incident. The use of government vehicles, particularly the barangay multi-cabs to haul pro-PSP voters was rampant according to them.
Based on the presented document, the NEA shall have exclusive jurisdiction over all post referendum protests which will be filed within three days after the announcement of the results of the referendum. Filing fee of P750,000.00 in cash is required as payment by any group who wishes to question the result of the referendum.
Casilihan said they cannot pay that big amount because they are only volunteers. “We can file through DOE or in other venue,” Casilihan added. “We will continue the protest because we stand for the people’s rights and welfare”. [BicolToday.com]