• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Six mayors within the franchise area of Central Negros Electric Cooperative urged the National Electrification Administration to temporarily suspend the plebiscite for the Joint Venture Agreement between CENECO and Primelectric Holdings Inc., pending the cleansing of the master list of electric cooperative member-consumers.
We are convinced that this is the only way to ensure that this plebiscite reflects the real choice of the bonafide member-consumers of CENECO, to properly decide the fate of the JVA, the six local chief executives, namely Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Bago City Mayor Nicholas Yulo, Talisay City Mayor Jesus Antonio Neil Lizares III, Silay City Mayor Joedith Gallego, Murcia Mayor Gerry Rojas, and Don Salvador Benedicto Mayor Laurence Marxlen dela Cruz, said in a letter to NEA administrator Antonio Mariano Almeda.
The six local chief executives within the franchise coverage of CENECO reported that they received complaints from CENECO consumer-members that their names were not included in the voter’s list, some names included in the list were already dead, with others having already relocated, or could no longer be found.
Since it is not cleansed, it is better to hold the list, before proceeding to the plebiscite, Benitez said in a press briefing yesterday at the Bacolod City Government Center.
A total of 192,188 CENECO member-consumers were reported earlier as eligible voters.
The continuation of the JVA plebiscite has been scheduled by CENECO on July 8 and 9, after a Temporary Restraining Order that sought to stop CENECO and Primelectric from conducting the June 24 and 25, July 1 and 2 plebiscites to ratify the JVA, was denied by Regional Trial Court Branch 50 Acting Presiding Judge Ferdinand Elbert Jomilla, for lack of merit.
RTC Branch 42 Judge Maria Lina Gonzaga also lifted the TRO she issued on the July 1 plebiscite, after respondent CENECO, Primelectric Holdings Inc./NEPC complied with requirements to be submitted.
Despite the court rulings, CENECO still cancelled the July 1 and 2 JVA plebiscite.
Benitez said he believes CENECO needs more time to cleanse its master list of voters.
On the first two days of the JVA plebiscite on June 24 and 24, Yes votes got the higher share of votes at 78 percent, as 27,741 member-consumers trooped to various polling precincts.
A total of 21,674 voted Yes, according to a report of the Overall Plebiscite Committee.*