NEA-Appointed BENECO General Manager Atty. Marie Rafael, was declared persona non grata by the Benguet Board members with 13 votes in favor while one abstained.
The decision was reached when they deliberated on Rafael’s statement that she was not present during the October 18 take over of the BENECO headquarters in Southdrive in Baguio. One her initial statement, she only arrived at seven in the morning. On the evidence gathered, however, it showed that she was there at the site earlier with the raiding team proving that she lied with her statement.
Board member Waclin explained that his reason for abstaining was that it would be better “if cases would be filed against those involved in violating the law in taking over BENECO by force.”
Earlier, the board had also declared NEA appointed Supervisor Atty. Omar Mayo for his failure to give the body substantial reason why the forced takeover was implemented.
Thirteen members of the Benguet Provincial Board voted to declare Omar Mayo persona non grata during its regular session on Wednesday after he appeared via Zoom for the body’s inquiry into the controversial October 18 dawn raid of the Beneco headquarters in Baguio City.
Board Member Juan Nazaro, who sponsored the resolution, said Mayo disrespected the customs and tradition of Benguet’s residents when he led the dawn raid of the power utility serving Baguio and Benguet. He described the operation undertaken while people slept as a “misconduct.”
Mayo was also declared persona non grata by the Baguio City Council during its October 23 session after launching its own inquiry into the deputization of police officers to help in the raid at the Beneco building at 2:40 a.m. The council voted eight in favor and three against while Councilor Vladimir Cayabas abstained.
Thw dawn raid with help from fully armed personnel of the Philippine National Police on October 18 drew the ire and condemnation of the Baguio and Benguet residents and officials. After three days, however, employees and member, consumer, owners or MCOs took back the Beneco compound in a peaceful rally. – CCT