BAGUIO CITY – Numerous member-consumer-owners of the Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO) are now up in arms against an alleged misleading signature campaign geared towards sowing confusion on the already complicated scenarios in the quest for the appointment of a permanent general manager of one of the well-established electric cooperatives in the country.
A number of consumers from La Trinidad, Ucab in Itogon and Camp 6 in Tuba narrated that they were approached by some youngsters and were asked to sign a petition reportedly endorsing Engr. Melchor S. Licoben as BENECO’s general manager.
However, upon careful perusal of the contents of the said petition, it is actually endorsing another applicant for the same position aside from alleging, among others, various malicious statements that tend to malign the current BENECO leadership for obvious reasons.
One of the recipients of this so-called petition claimed that an individual working at the Benguet Provincial Capitol asked him to sign the questionable in exchange for P1,000 once they are able to get 5 pages of signatures of consumers.
Some of the consumers claimed that those going around the BENECO franchise area to get the signatures of consumers are not outsiders, but it seems that there is a disgruntled group composed of some BENECO officials and employees and a number of contractors who are behind this and financing the misleading signature campaign to continue creating trouble in the established electric cooperative.
Further, reliable sources claimed that the probable people behind the misleading signature campaign is allegedly linked to a Davao-based businessman who allegedly is interested to take over all income-generating power companies before the term of President Rodrigo Duterte expires next year because they are not sure that the President’s bet will win the May 2022 elections.
As per initial information from those who were asked to get the signatures who were interviewed by responsible consumers, some contractors are allegedly shelling out some P400 to P450 per individual per day in Itogon for them to have the questionable petition signed.
In La Trinidad, the amount being given to each of those who were asked to go around the barangays and get the signatures of the consumers is P1,000 for every 5 pages filled with signatures.
Responsible consumers warned their fellow consumers from other parts of the city and Benguet no to fall into the trap of signing the petition purportedly in favor of Licoben because the contents are actually in favor of the other applicant for the coveted position of general manager and that they should first read the contents of whatever documents they are being asked to sign to avoid further problems that will be created to ruin the image of the electric cooperative.