Senator Manny Pacquiao is accusing Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi for prioritizing politics that lead to the rotating brownouts that is currently plaguing parts of Luzon.
The senator also said that he would fire Cusi if he had a choice.
“It is saddening to think that some of our officials, who are supposed to attend to the situation, to our problems, are prioritizing politics,” Pacquiao, president of the ruling PDP-Laban party, said in a privilege speech at the Senate on Wednesday.
“I’m talking directly to Secretary Cusi … Let us prioritize helping. When it comes to politics, the party, we’ll settle that in the right time,” the senator added.
Cusi is the vice chairman of the PDP-Laban. Pacquiao criticized Cusi over the rotating brownouts hit Luzon right after the party held a national assembly in Cebu on Monday that the senator opposed but which the DOE Secretary nonetheless pushed through with. President Rodrigo Duterte, chairman of PDP-Laban called for the Cebu meeting, where a resolution was adopted urging him to run for vice president in 2022.
The Palace said it still considers Pacquiao an ally.
However, the senator wants to hold Cusi and the DOE accountable, and even called Cusi “incompetent.”
“We’re expecting bigger problems pertaining to power supply, have we done enough preparations for a surge in power supply demand this summer? This is a recurring problem. We cannot rely on the same strategies to solve this problem on the rapidly growing demand for power supply,” he added.
“We need proactive leaders, we need dedicated officials who will fulfill their sworn duties and responsibilities to the Filipino people,” he said.
Pacquiao even said Cusi should be replaced.
“Kung ako ang ano eh, eh palitan kita, maraming deserving na mamumuno dyan (If I had a choice, I would have you replaced. There are more people deserving for that position),” he added.
Cusi, for his part, said he did not neglect his duties as DOE secretary.
“It doesn’t mean when I attend the PDP-Laban [meeting or court appointments] that I am not doing my job at the Department of Energy,” Cusi said at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.“I work every day during pandemic, I report to the office and we really attend to that,” Cusi added. “I am aware of the responsibilities. I am aware of the importance of energy and making sure it is addressed.” SOVEREIGNPH