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ATILANO vindicated!


(BY: JUN FELICIANO) (Words of Enlightenment)
BY human nature, we are f
ond of poking funs and jokes at our fellowmen, especially those having their physical impairments.

THE BIBLE warns: “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you.(Luke 6: 37). Email:



THE office of  NFA Provincial Manager Gaudencio “Boy” Nuega, Jr. is making its early announcement to all the grains businessmen and NFA-accredited retailers to better take note of their supposed requisites yearly with its office, to wit: (Subj.) “RENEWAL of License and Re-validation of Passbooks”—Please be informed of the following: Renewal of License—District(January, 2015); District 2(February, 2015); Fees for Passbook(New Passbook-Ph P 50.00), Replacement for lost passbook(Ph 100.00); RE-VALIDATION of Passbook—Personal Appearance; Facility Inspection will be conducted as pre-requisite for re-validation; New passbook will be issued.

Please be guided accordingly. Signed: Gaudencio S. Nuega, Jr.(Provincial Manager).”



THIS adage is meant for a few brave souls: “Damn if you do, damn if you don’t.”

AND, one of them that I know of, pretty well, is former big boss of Zamcelco, Prof. Elbert “Bong”C. Atilano, Sr.

BONG, as he preferred to simply be addressed, was recently absolved of any accountability, liability and culpability( to paraphrase it in totality) by the National Electrification Administration(NEA) in its eight (8)-page Decision that came out officially, December 23,2014. Its Decision was penned by the NEA administrator herself, Ms. Edita S. Bueno, as authorized by the NEA Board of Administrators.

IN retrospect, an Administrative complaint for Grave Misconduct and Grave Negligence and Dereliction of Duty was filed by Complainant Expedito Marquez Jr. against Respondent members of the Board of Directors and officers of Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc.(ZAMCELCO).

THE complaint was filed on April 11,2013, and its allegations ranged from violations of the Coop’s By-Laws; Defiance of new guidelines and policy regarding the disallowance of gasoline allowance; Passing a Board resolution, giving Certificate of Appreciation to two(2) NEA Assists. assigned to Zamcelco; Reinstatement of Board Executive Secretary despite questionable circumstances; Approval of the PSA between SRPI and ZAMCELCO without thorough discussion and deliberations; Approval of the PSA between SRPI and ZAMCELCO without the NEA’s review and approval, etc.—( a total of 10 allegations, in all).

RESPONDENTS’ (11)disclaimers of such liabilities are the following: 1.) The Board Resolution passed and ratified granting to respondent Victor A. Liozo, Jr. the P6,000.00 honorarium for being the anchorman of the ZAMCELCO TV/Radio program was done for public information to all Zamboangueños and in accordance with the Board’s general powers to formulate and adopt policies and plans, promulgate rules and regulations for the management of Zamcelco and despite the aforementioned rationale, respondent Liozo returned the honorarium given to him; 2.) It was not established that respondent Elbert Atilano, Sr. is any way connected to the alleged “selling or supplying distribution of transformers to member-consumers; 3.) The complaint was not supported by evidence that will show that an offense has been committed and renders it certain or probable that it was committed by the person named or described in the complaint; 4.)Respondent Charito Mabitazan’s act of withholding the salaries of bodyguards of the Directors is not without basis as the same was not sanctioned by NEA; 5.) The act of furnishing copies of the Board of Resolutions to the DOE, City Mayor and Congresswoman are not prohibited by laws especially as the purpose for its distribution is only “for their information.”; 6.)  The falsification case of respondent Mariane Salasain has already been dismissed by the Office of City Prosecutor of Zamboanga City; 7.) The services of Atty. Vicente R. Solis were contracted only for the Power Sales Agreement(PSA) with San Ramon Power, Inc.(SRPI); 8.) The matter with SRPI has been duly discussed and exhaustively deliberated by the members of the Board, Officers and employees of the cooperative; 9.) The PSA with SRPI was made in the exercise of the Board’s general powers under Section 2, Article IV of the Zamcelco By Laws; 10.) The subject Complaint contains only general accusations regarding alleged violations of respondents; 11.) Respondent Elbert Atilano, Sr. is no longer the President of the ZAMCELCO Board of Directors as he has resigned due to his being a candidate for City Councilor and that respondent Charito Mabitazan is no longer the Acting Manager of ZAMCELCO.”

APRIL 7, 2013 NEA-ADCOM conducted the Mandatory/ Mediation Conference, but failed to secure an amicable settlement, and both parties were directed to file their respective Position Papers. “After evaluation of the pleadings submitted by the parties, the case was deemed submitted for decision.”

“The crucial issues to be resolved in this case are the following: 1.) Whether or not the Respondents committed the acts attributed to them; 2.) If so, did the commission of these acts constitute Grave Misconduct and Gross Neglect of Duty?”

AND (NEA’S) findings: “Nowhere in the record of the instant case did the Complainant substantiate his gratuitous charges of gross misconduct. IN-fact a perusal of the complaint would reveal that it contains only general accusations regarding the alleged violations or misconduct of the respondents without any supporting evidence. As for gross misconduct, the adjective is “gross” or serious, important, weighty, momentous, and not trifling; while the noun is “misconduct,” defined as a transgression of some established and definite rule of actions, more particularly, unlawful behavior by the public officer. The word “misconduct” implies a wrongful intention and not a mere error of judgment. For gross misconduct to exist there must be reliable evidence showing that the acts complained of were corrupt or inspired by an intention to violate the law, or were in persistent disregard of well-known legal rules. Gross Negligence, this Administration, upon consideration of all the documentary evidence and allegations of both parties, finds that the acts being imputed to respondents do not constitute gross negligence on their part. Neglect of duty, to be a ground for dismissal, must be both gross and habitual. Gross negligence connotes want of care in the performance of one’s duties. Habitual neglect implies repeated failure to perform one’s duties for a period of time, depending upon the circumstances. Gross neglect of duty is characterized by want of even the slightest care or by conscious indifference to the consequences, or by flagrant and palpable breach of duty. On the charge of non-compliance of NEA rules and regulations, this Administration had to rule the same in favor of the respondents. While it is true that when respondents Board of Directors passed and implemented Board Resolution No. 102-12 Series of 2012, granting unto Director Victor Liozo the amount of P6,000.00 per month for hosting the TV program “ZAMCELCO Hour” at TV-13, they(respondents) failed to show that they have prior approval in writing from NEA. However, in doing so, this Administration does not see any wrongful intent, deliberate refusal, or bad faith on the part of the respondents. Instead, we find the justifications and reason offered by the respondents to be consistent with the latter’s documentary evidences. In fact, we noted the act of respondent Victor Liozo in returning immediately the honorarium he received as the host of the TV program to the management of ZAMCELCO as well as the immediate disallowance of the said honorarium by the respondents as indications of good faith on their ( respondents) part..”

“WHEREFORE, by authority of the NEA Board of Administrators, the instant complaint against Respondents ELBERT ATILANO SR., EFREN T. PEREZ, OMAR A. SAHI, ERNESTO R. PEREZ, AGUSTIN E. GRACIANO, VICTOR A. LIOZO, JR., MARIANE SALASAIN and Engr. EDGARDO ANCHETA is hereby DIMISSED for lack of merit.”

SO ORDERED. December 23,2014, Quezon City, Philippines. Signed: Edita S. Bueno(Administrator).

THIS is suffice to say, that Prof. Elbert “Bong Atilano, Sr. and the rest of the respondents (as named in the said Complaint) have been vindicated, so far— though with a stern warning from NEA, not to repeat the same mistake(found erred in good faith). (30)

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