Kalinga Congressman Allen Jesse Mangaong demands public apology over Secretary Alfonso Cusi’s remarks despite the latter’s letter of apology.
The rift started when Cusi stated that the cause of General Manager Gerardo Versoza taking his life were the problems of the Benguet Electric Cooperative or BENECO.
In Cusi’s interview with Karen Davila, said that “it all started when BENECO prevented the assumption into office by the newly appointed GM. Nagkaroon po ng… Kasi po nag suicide yong dating GM ng BENECO for unknown reasons and an OIC was installed.”
“So, since para po magkaroon tayo ng – mapatakbo po ng maayos ang BENEC, kasi marami nga po tayong naririnig na mga problema, minarapat natin na magkaroon na po ng bagong GM. Kasi nga po nag-suicide yung datin GM d’yan,” said Cusi.
On his letter to Cusi dated October 25, 2021, he stated “our family is deeply saddened by your blatant failure to tell the truth in the interview, We therefore condemn in the strongest possible terms your insensitive, malicious, bascless, unfair, and unethical remarks in trying to put the blame on the very person who took the extra mile to put BENECO on the highest pedestal of the country’s power industry over the past three decades.”
“We never thought that an honorable person and a member of the President’s Cabinet will rely on petty and baseless arguments just to mislead the public on the concrete facts and the evident motive in trying to create confusion and disorder in BENECO for you to be able to advance your interest and the interest of your prospective benefactors. We are very dismayed and disappointed in the unbecoming gesture you displayed as a public servant.”
On his reply to Mangaoang on October 28, Cusi asked for apology. He said “the remarks that I said about your brother-in-law, the late Gerardo P. Verzosa, are inappropriate. I take responsibility for my remarks. Hoping for your kind consideration and understanding.”
“I take full responsibility for my remarks. Kindly extend this apology to all family members and to all concerned persons as well.”
Congressman Mangaoang however wanted the Secretary to issue a public apology on the same platform he so maligned the deceased General Manager.
In his second letter to Cusi November 4, Mangaoang said “while our family welcomes your gesture of extending a personal apology and exerting effort to take responsibility, your letter fails to redeem Mr. Verzosa in the bad light you have cast him in.”
Mangaoang said the manner in which the words uttered by Cusi were in such a way that the remarks “relate my brother-in-law’s death to the current problems encountered by BENECO.”
“Your remarks were done so publicly, can be easily accessed, and can effortlessly be taken out of context,” Mangaoang said. “If you are sincere in taking responsibility for your remarks, as stated in your letter, we insist that the same public forum, with Karen Davila, be uscd for your apology and your clarification on associating Mr. Verzosa’s demise with BENECO’s plight.”
“We look forward to you heeding our demand. Bear in mind that this will be the last time we will be writing to you on this sensitive matter. The future actions of the family will depend on the steps you will tak,” said Mangaoang. – C. Taawan