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President Rodrigo Duterte  ordered  all commissioners of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to resign

“I am demanding they all resign,” the President said, citing both internal and intelligence reports indicating systemic corruption in the agency.

He said he received and read the reports of the controversy involving the death of ERC director Francisco Villa Jr., who killed himself on Nov. 9 and left suicide notes expressing his problems on the job.

The Villa family, meanwhile, expressed gratitude for Duterte's prompt action on the corruption allegations.

"We, the family of Jun Villa, are deeply and profoundly humbled and so grateful for the attention of Pres. Duterte to shed light over our tragic loss... We thank the President for taking the first step towards reforms in power industry which will benefit consumers and the economy," their statement read.

Villa’s sister, journalist Charie Villa, said the notes showed that he had been under stifling pressure to approve procurement contracts without bidding or hire consultants as chair of ERC’s bids and awards committee.

“They really abused the [system]… just like in the past,” Mr. Duterte said, speaking to reporters before heading back to Manila after his participation at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit here.

He also said he would ask Congress to either “disband” or “reorganize” the ERC and to file charges against the erring officials.

“I leave it to the implementor. All these officials will have a choice: I will demand from Congress to disband [ERC] or leave them without a budget, and/or file cases simultaneous,” Mr. Duterte said.

The President said ERC officials should prepare themselves.

“My source was a document. Now it’s a matter of government lawyers

The president said he received internal and intelligence report about anomalies in the ERC including having too many consultants, and how its officials deal with contracts

Duterte clarified  that he is asking ERC officials, not the rank and file to resign

The current commissioners of the ERC are Alfredo Non, Atty. Gloria Victoria Yap-Taruc, Atty. Josefina Patricia Asirit, and Geronimo Sta. Ana.

Duterte also ordered the immediate probe of ERC, adding there will be "no sacred cows" in the investigation. Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, however, said it is still unclear as to which body will hold the investigation.

ERC Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar said he is concerned with the allegations. Earlier, he also called for a probe and guaranteed a fair and impartial inquiry on the issue.


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