By Business Mirror, March 15 2019

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Former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar allegedly played “fast and loose” with the law to ensure that his “dubious” directives when he was the head of the all-powerful regulatory body would escape scrutiny.

A Civil Service Commission (CSC) resolution issued on December 18 charged that Salazar “overreached his authority” by meddling in the internal affairs of ERC, a news statement issued on Wednesday said. Instead of going through the official process of consulting the collegial body, the former ERC chairman allegedly issued a total of 135 appointments—18 of which are division chief and director positions—sans prior concurrence from the ERC en banc.

Salazar, during his tenure as ERC chief, requested the CSC to give him the sole power to appoint directors and employees at ERC.  In the said resolution CSC denied his request. The commission is now reportedly conducting an audit of appointments issued to ERC officials and employees.

The resolution upholds that the appointing power in ERC rests with its collegial body composed of its chairman and four members, and not exclusive with the chairman and CEO alone.

The former ERC chief was replaced by incumbent Chairman Agnes Devanadera, who has been urging ERC officials and personnel to adhere to the values of work efficiency, effectiveness and technical or professional competence.