Gov’t Employees’ Group Says Malacañang is Behind Meralco Ownership Mess

Posted 5:11 p.m., Aug. 27, 2008

Quezon City—It is Malacañang, all this time that has been behind the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) ownership issue, using the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to pressure the Lopez bloc to give up its shares.

This was the statement of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage), after Atty. Camilo Sabio, commissioner of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), admitted that it was Atty. Jesus Santos, member of the GSIS Board of Trustees and lawyer of First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, who asked him to “mediate” on the GSIS-Meralco case. The case was then in the sala of his brother, Justice Jose Sabio of the Court of Appeals.

Ferdinand Gaite, Courage national president, said that it is not impossible for the Palace to muddle the issue for it is “drooling” over the ownership of Meralco and it will do anything just to takeover the electric company. “Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would do anything to get her hands on Meralco – whether through the powers of Malacañang, through her husband, or just about any official at her disposal,” Gaite said.

“The power sector is a very strategic industry and if Mrs. Arroyo gets control over Meralco, it will be very easy for her to stay in power and to hostage her political enemies by using Meralco as a blackmailing tool. What is outrageous is that she is using the government employees’ fund to wrest control of the utility firm. And that is something we will never allow,” Gaite added.

The issue on Meralco ownership began when GSIS president and general manager Winston Garcia said that the Lopez bloc is taking advantage of the people by charging them unjust fees and that the government has plans to take over the corporation. The GSIS is currently holding more than 25 percent of the stocks in Meralco. (

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