BECA prexy queries reporters for sources

NAGA CITY -- The president of the Bicol Electric Cooperatives Association, Inc. (BECA) has asked two reporters of this paper for the identity of their sources who said that they requested the House committee on ethics to investigate the alleged double compensation received by two members of partylist groups representing electric cooperatives in the country.

BECA president, Engr. Edwin H. Lamadrid, in a letter dated Dec. 16 to Danny P. Aureus and Paulo DS. Papa asked the two to name the sources of their news article titled “BECA seeks probe on partylist rep’s salaries” published in the Nov 14, 2019 issue of this paper.

Lamadrid in his letter said BECA “would like to be informed and clarified of the authority from which your publication sourced this information so we can also take appropriate action to protect the right and interest of the organization.”

In their reply to Lamadrid, Aureus and Papa declined to give the names of their sources. Aureus said their sources are employees of electric cooperatives and he refused to specifically name them. On the part of Papa, he said it is their responsibility to protect the identities of their sources.

Aureus is a veteran print and broadcast journalist, while Papa, although a neophyte is a responsible news reporter.

To recall, the Nov. 14 news item stated that members of the Bicol Electric Cooperative Association (BECA) has urged the House committee on ethics to investigate the alleged double compensations received by two members of partylists representing electric cooperatives in the country.

The two named in the news report were APEC Partylist Rep. Sergio Dagooc and Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association (PHILRECA) Partylist Rep. Presly De Jesus. They were reportedly still working as officials of electric cooperatives, which is prohibited by the law and considered a violation of existing policy of the National Electrification Administration (NEA). Under NEA’s rules, officials and employees of electric cooperatives are deemed resigned once they are elected in any elective positions in local or national elections.

Dagooc argued that he is on vacation from the Siargao Electric Cooperative and the Dinagat Island Electric Cooperative, but sources said that he is still working as the general manager of the said cooperatives.

On his part, De Jesus, during the forum conducted by BECA at Robertson Hotel last month, admitted that he is still a director of Isabela I Electric Cooperative. He clarified that PHILRECA, nominated him as the partylist’s representative to Congress and was not directly elected as a candidate during the May 2019 polls.

The allegation against the two representatives was revealed to Bicol Mail by Ann Sylvia Alsisto, general manager of the Camarines Sur I Electric Cooperatives (CASURECO I) and chairperson of Task Force Duterte in Rinconada of the Camarines Sur III Electric Cooperative (CASURECO III).