JCPC clears PSALM president of conflict of interest charges

22 Feb 2008

The Joint Congressional Power Commission (JCPC), at its hearing last 14 February, absolved Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) President and Chief Executive Officer Jose C. Ibazeta of charges of conflict of interest in the bidding for the right to operate the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo).

"No one objected so we dismissed the charges against the PSALM president," said Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, JCPC co-chairman who presided over the hearing.

"We believe that Ibazeta has no controlling stake in the bidding process because PSALM is a collegial body and he is just one of the officers in the board. He was not in a position to make unilateral decisions, particularly in auctions," Sen. Santiago added.

In a related development, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati also cleared Mr. Ibazeta of charges of bias in the TransCo bidding. In a decision dated 05 February 2008, Branch 61 of the Makati RTC dismissed the complaint of La Costa Development Corp., a disqualified bidder for TransCo. Among other findings, the Court dismantled La Costa's argument that Mr. Ibazeta was biased because he knew "a certain 'Mr. Enrique Razon Jr.'" The court pointed out that "that defendant Ibazeta is somehow connected to Enrique Razon Jr. proves nothing."

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