by Lenie Lectura, 22 June 2015
Outgoing Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla is 100-percent definite that he is vacating his post starting July 1, with or without any replacement.
“My last day is on June 30,” Petilla said in a text message on Monday.
Petilla is the only Cabinet secretary that has not been confirmed yet. So, Malacañang reappointed him until June 30, he said.
Petilla’s resignation was supposed to take effect April 30.
As to the next Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Petilla said he has no idea if the President has made a decision. “As for my replacement, I don’t know but I can’t be accused of abandonment since I extended my stay for two months already.”
There are four candidates vying for the next DOE secretary.
First, is former Energy Secretary Raphael “Popo” Lotilla.
The second candidate is current National Transmission Corp. President Roland Bacani.
The third, DOE Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada, is also a top candidate. Monsada, a veteran in the energy sector, is Petilla’s top pick. The fourth candidate is National Power Corp. President Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita.
Petilla, in his resignation letter, cited “personal and family reasons,” as to why he wanted to quit his job. He, however, did not deny that he is considering running for higher office in 2016.
Petilla had told the President as early as last year that he wants to pursue his personal plans and that his desire to resign from his post was delayed because he had to deal with so many issues in the power sector.
“I could not then because there were so many issues to deal with. There was the Meralco [Manila Electric Co.] rate hike, power restoration after [Supertyphoon] Yolanda, and the power situation for the summer of 2015,” he recalled.
In December of 2013 Petilla resigned after he failed to make good on his promise to energize the areas in the Visayas that were badly hit by a tropical storm. President Aquino did not accept his resignation.
“Now, there are those saying that I resigned because the emergency power I was seeking was not given. Worse, they said I resigned because I was not among those picked to be included in the ‘Magic 12’ of the Liberal Party. None are close to the truth,” Petilla, who was appointed in October 2012, said.