Thursday, April 19, 2018

NEA defers INEC-scheduled April elections

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff reporter

Dingras, Ilocos Norte—The National Electrification Administration (NEA) ordered the postponement of scheduled election for Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative directors scheduled this April.

INEC set the district elections earlier for Districts VIII on April 14, 2018; III on April 21, 2018; and V on April 28, 2018.

NEA Administrator Edgardo R. Masongsong signed the deferment order upon the request of INEC board president Reynaldo “Rey” M. Lazo.

“Considering the circumstances, this office approves the deferment of the said district elections for two (2) months pending the approval of the proposed deferment of elections by the NEA Board of Administrators, Thus, you are enjoined to conduct elections not later than June 2018,” Mr. Masongsong said in the order.

According to Mr. Lazo, he requested the postponement because the INEC district elections will encroach into the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections campaign period.

He noted that the INEC district elections “may create confusion” with the BKSE, and candidates for either elections may take advantage to push their own interests.

“Thus, there is the possibility of manipulating the district elections of BOD that will defeat the supposed non-political character of the ECs,” Mr. Lazo added.  

When the INEC board scheduled the district elections for April this year, Mr. Lazo was in the United States of America representing INEC for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) convention; and thus, did not join the board deliberation.

Upon his return to the country, he said he requested the board to consider the district elections’ deferment but the other board directors rejected his request.

In view of this, he requested Mr. Masongsong to intervene and order a deferment because of the reason he earlier cited.

He, however, clarified that the NEA board will still need to meet to tackle INEC’s district elections postponement on the date the NEA order specified.

Mr. Lazo has reached the term limit as INEC District VIII director. He, however, disclosed that he can still run for another term based on NEA’s latest policy on the issue.

No man pay iti maysa a director ket nakapag-serbin iti naming tallo a daras mabalin na paylaeng iti agaplikar iti exemption a mabalin na man iti tumarayen. And I believe that I have that qualifications for that particular exemptions a miyembro iti junta direktiba,” Mr. Lazo said.

“For the record, twice I [tried] give up the position [BOD president] but they rejected [it]. At any time the board does not have confidence on me as their president, I can give it up. It’s up to them,” Mr. Lazo said to quell rumors he does not want to yield his INEC board presidency.

Meanwhile, INEC’s Interim Services Department (ISD) manager Menchie Cariaga disclosed that there will be no election for INEC this April based on the NEA deferment letter.

INEC records show that retired INEC department manager Engr. Lindbergh Castillo was the lone candidate who filed his certificate of candidacy for the District VIII election.

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