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Nanganganib sa pwesto! Ombudsman tells Joseph Cua to answer graft raps

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The Office of the Ombudsman has directed Catanduanes Governor Joseph Cua to answer the criminal and administrative complaint filed by a local watchdog in connection with the questionable renewal of the sublease agreement between two power companies.

In an order dated February 9, the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon told Cua to explain why he should not be placed under preventive suspension.

The Catanduanes Crusaders Against Illegal Drugs and Corruption (CCAIDC) accused Cua of intervening for and on behalf of Catanduanes Power Generation Inc. (CPGI) before the National Power Corporation and National Electrification Authority (NEA) for the renewal of the deal between CPGI and the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative (FICELCO).

In several letters, Cua “strongly endorsed and recommended” the extension of the sublease contract between FICELCO and CPGI even though NPC has decided against renewing it.

CCAIDC also pointed out that Cua insisted on renewing the contract of CPGI despite its inefficiency in providing electricity.

The watchdog group believes the governor’s interest in the deal was due to his family’s ownership of Powerzone Corporation, a supplier of CPGI.

CCAIDC filed a complaint against Cua for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The Ombudsman no longer conducted a field investigation on the complaint. Instead, it went straight to preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon.