The Submarine cable scam
THE TRUE SUBMARINE-CABLE STORY –
HOW THE CAMIGUIN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE (CAMELCO) LOANED PHP 220 MILLION AND WHY THE MANAGEMENT WANTED TO KEEP IT ALL SECRET…..
The narration of events is based on what was discovered and patched together from the time CGPC discovered ERC CASE NO. 2010-098RC for a 220Million loan and the documents they received from the different National Offices involved.
A timeline of events:
Since 1987 Camiguin is receiving power from the Mindanao grid through a German supplied submarine cable. Until to date this power supply system is sufficient for the electricity consumption of the island.
Aug. 9, 2010
The CAMELCO (Camiguin Electric Cooperative) applied for a 220 Million loan at the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for a new parallel submarine cable (ERC CASE NO. 2010-098RC). According to CAMELCO this was in preparation for the time that the old submarine cable would be incapacitated and the capacity would be inadequate for a growing electricity demand.
LIES AND BREAKING OF RULES
Nov. 9, 2011
Instead of waiting for the approval of the loan by the ERC and the release of funds by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), CAMELCO applied directly for a loan by the Local Government Unit Guarantee Corporation (LGUGC). The Internet picture of the “PRESS RELEASE” of the signing of this loan is for 220Million Pesos.
If CAMELCO would have waited for the release of a loan by NEA, the consumers would have had a great advantage: In case that CAMELCO is unable to pay back a loan to NEA, NEA can condone the loan. So why did CAMELCO get the loan from the LGUGC? It can be speculated that the reason for this is that CAMELCO would be subject to auditing by the Government auditing agency COA had it obtained any loan by NEA.
The LGUGC claimed that they approved the loan by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) because it is the bank who offered lenient conditions and best interest rates. However, up to now no contract is shown by CAMELCO nor BPI documenting how much the real interest rate is. This is part of the mandamus filed by our lawyer, Atty. Homer Mabale.
April 14, 2012
On this date, CAMELCO claims, its members approved the PHP 220 Million loan for a submarine cable during its 28th Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) in Sagay. That’s what it says on CAMELCOS 29th AGMA souvenir program – a blatant lie.
The truth is that not even those present in the 28th AGMA knew about a 220M loan – except for the management of course.
CAMELCOS management did not only betray their Members. It also broke ERC rules which demand that no loan can be applied for, unless it was approved by a General Membership Assembly. The fact that the loan was already applied for in 2010 proves, that CAMELCO applied for the loan before it asked for the approval of the members/consumers in 2012.
October 9, 2012
The ERC approved the PHP 220 Million loan.
December 28, 2012
CAMELCO published the signing of the loan with BPI thru the LGUGC Program, but for 140Million only.
December 28, 2012
On the same date, CAMELCO received the first release of PHP 20 Million of the PHP 220M loan by the LGUGC via the Bank of the Philippines Islands (BPI) according to loan release paper presented later by the Dept. of Energy (DOE) thru the report of the LGUGC.
Feb. 15, 2013
The bidding conditions for a contract to install a PHP 220 Million submarine cable were publicized according to CAMELCO. However even until much later nobody in Camiguin knew about this except for the CAEMELCO management.
BIDDING WITH ONLY ONE (SELECTED) BIDDER
Feb. 20, 2013
According to CAMELCO three bidders took part in the bidding. But the Citizens for Green and Peaceful Camiguin Inc. (CGPC) later found out that the bidding process was rigged and manipulated. CGPC members filed an administrative case concerning the rigged bidding – NEA ADCOM CASE NO. 22-03-15 handled by Barba and Associates, Atty. Erwin Bucio.
March 14, 2013
Signing of Resolution No. 19 in the CAMELCO OFFICE to give the contract to METER KING, the apparent winner of the bidding for the 220M submarine cable. METER KING based in Mindanao, is not known to have expertise in undersea cable laying. It is the main supplier of CAMELCO for its electrical supplies.
Just one day after the signing of the Resolution to award the PHP 220 Million submarine cable contract to Meter King, on March 15, 2013, the CAMELCO Board of Directors also signed RESOLUTION no. 22 approving that the General Manager can sign a contract for a diesel power plant with Kings Energy Generation Inc.(KEGI))
What a coincidence: Meter King and KEGI belong to the same owners!
Later CGPC also found out that the other so called bidders never participated in the bidding.
They provided CGPC with written and notarized affidavits stating exactly this.
However, a few weeks later the other so called bidders suddenly retracted their affidavits claiming the opposite. It must be suspected that the dummy bidders were paid to do so.
March 30, 2013
Second the release of PHP 97.5 Million for the submarine cable was paid directly to Meter King.
This again violates NEA rules on release. The conditions on page 22 of ERC CASE NO. 2010-098 RC say, that 1) says that there should be a progress report with an indication of any variance in the implementation of the project and time schedule. Up to this point, METER KING has not even presented yet the cables.
Furthermore, the CAMELCO Board of Directors (date not known to consumers) traveled to China at the expense of the consumers.
CGPC discovered for the first time the ERC CASE NO. 2010-098RC in the internet and started researching and writing to National Offices.
October 9, 2013
The group started a Facebook page under the name of THE CITIZENS FOR GREEN AND PEACEFUL CAMIGUIN (CGPC) in order to inform Camiguinons of the proposed diesel power plant.
WHERE IS THE CABLE?
Nov. 11, 2013
Rumors went around the island that a boat carrying cables was seen between Liong Guinsiliban in Camiguin and Kinoguitan in Misamis Oriental. Later, CAMELCO used this date as the day the new parallel submarine cable was laid.
Nov. 12, 2013
CAMELCO received another PHP 40 Million from the PHP 220 Million loan. It is presumed that the said boat was only a show to prove to the ERC that the cables were laid. Reason: Nobody in Guinsiliban witnessed the laying of cables. This is very unlike the laying of the 1987 submarine cables which the people of Guinsiliban witnessed like a town fiesta.
Nov. 23, 2013
29th Annual General Membership Assembly in Mambajao, Camiguin: One Consumer, Mr. Ondoy Almonia stood up asking “we read in Facebook that CAMELCO has applied for a PHP 220 Million loan for a new parallel submarine cable”. Governor, Jurdin Jesus Romualdo stood up, answering for general manger Adriano Ebcas and said. “Facebook, I do not know what is Facebook, but if you ask about the submarine cable, you can hire divers to dive and see that it is now under the sea between Liong Guinsiliban and Kinoguitan, Misamis Oriental.” No further explanation was provided.
December 11, 2013
In reaction to our letter to the President of the Philippines, members of THE CITIZENS FOR GREEN AND PEACEFUL CAMIGUIN (CGPC) were invited to the Sangguniang Bayan. All Mayors and their entourage and the Provincial Governor and his entourage were present.
CGPC was represented by Maria Teresa Reyes-Rami, Fe E. Ulfstein, Rene Tamayo and Rina G. Maestrado as neighbors and the famous Civil Rights Advocate Mr. Orlando Ravanera and his representatives of ONE SENDONG IS ENOUGH and Atty. Jun Narido as concerned citizens.
The representatives of the government spoke without interruption for three hours. The complainants were granted less than an hour in which they were constantly interrupted.
THE ISSUE OF THE 220 MILLION LOAN WAS NOT TO BE DISCUSSED.
THE GOVERNOR STOOD UP WHEN MS. RAMI MENTIONED ABOUT A PHP 220MILLION LOAN AND LEFT THE QUESTION UNANSWERED.
The Department of Energy (DOE) called CGPC through their Office telephone. The DOE was alarmed that CGPC did not receive written communication from them which was sent through the Philippine Postal Service. They later sent us the reply of DOE to CAMELCO on the issues brought up by CGPC. CAMELCO categorically ignored the concerns of CGPC.
Instead, in its defense, the management complained that some CGPC members were married to foreigners, who own cars and other machinery causing pollution.
Feb. 24, 2014
CAMELCO received another PHP 50 Million from the 220M loan for a new parallel submarine cable.
May 24, 2014
THE CITIZENS FOR GREEN AND PEACEFUL CAMIGUIN INC. formally registered at the Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-profit, non-government organization. Members of the first Board of Trustees were Maria Teresa R. Rami (president), Jocelyn Diana King (vice president), Fe E. Ulfstein (treasurer), Jonas Ebcas (secretary) and Edilberto Joaquin Elio.
We then had our own Official Group signature:
The Citizens for Green and Peaceful Camiguin Inc. Sec. Reg. No. CN20142987
A SEC registered, non- political group , we are on Facebook as a group under this name with more than 7,500 members and we are associated with SULOG – One Sendong is Enough, a coalition of environmental watchdogs and progressive civil society organizations in Northern Mindanao particularly Task Force Macajalar, a federation of environmental groups and POs of fisher folks and farmers
June 20, 2014
The Dept. of Energy (DOE) wrote a letter to CGPC which they received several weeks later, with the report on how the PHP 220 Million loan was released to CAMELCO. see GRAPHICS below.
July 9, 2014
A World Bank, Ms Irorita, representative with company made an ocular inspection of the submarine cable. No report was presented to CGPC.
July 11, 2014
CGPC was invited to a meeting at the Department of Energy (DOE) in Manila, to be shown the documents pertinent to the acquisition of the new parallel submarine cable. The issue of the diesel power plant WAS NOT to be discussed. Ms. Irorita was not ready to present her report of inspection.
Later, when it was presented, CGPC criticized the unprofessional report and refused to acknowledge the same. Ms. Irorita in her report herself said: “the undersigned is remotely competent to do underwater inspection”.
CAMELCOS Manager G.M. Ebcas pretended not to have any documents with him concerning the bidding of the submarine cable. He however promised to present them to CGPC back in his office in Camiguin.
CAMELCO HIDES THE SUBMARINE CABLE DOCUMENTS
July 31, 2014
After several attempts to make GM Adrian Ebcas come true on his promise to let CGPC see the documents pertaining to the acquisition of the submarine cable at the July 11, 2014 meeting at the DOE, CGPC was invited to CAMELCO.
However, NO documents were shown. Grace Flores who travelled all the way from Cebu as the qualified professional auditor of CGPC was not allowed to participate in the closed door meeting on the grounds that she was not a CAMELCO member. This in spite the very clear promise GM Ebcas had made during the DOE meeting where Flores was also present.
CGPC was only offered to see the book of records. We were not allowed to take any picture nor could we get any copies of transactions. The CAMELCO management claimed that this was according to CAMELCO’s bylaws, which is a lie.
Later, the lawyer of CGPC filed a complaint to this effect.
August 1, 2014
CGPC was invited together with GM Ebcas and Engineer Redera to visit the site in Liong Guinsiliban in order to verify that the cable was indeed laid. CGPC was represented by Maria Teresa Rami and Grace Flores. Rene Tamayo as associate. However, CGPC could only see the ends of cables protruding from the ground and fixed to a post.
October 30, 2014
The new parallel submarine cable was supposedly commissioned. CGPC was not given any report. Later, CGPC discovered that the old submarine cable which was still “as good as brand new”, according to CAMELCO Engineer Abanil, was disconnected. The response of CAMELCO is that they need a new transformer for the new submarine cable.
Until to date, more than one year after the commissioning of the second cable, only one cable is supplying electricity from the Mindanao grid to Camiguin. This only proves that one submarine cable is enough to supply the electricity demand of the island.
According to the DOE, the last PHP 12.5 Million of the PHP 220 Million loan is released after commissioning.
In other words: CAMELCO has received a total of 220 Million pesos, piling up a huge debt with questionable purpose. The ones who have to pay are the electricity consumers.
November 24, 2014
CGPC represented by Grace Flores, Margie Velez Luspo-Numano and Tony Toledo went to Manila in an effort, to have the investigative TV Program “Isumbong mo kay TULFO” report on the fishy business of CAMELCO.
THE CITIZENS FILE CASES AGAINST CAMELCO
March 3, 2015
NEA ADCOM CASE was filed concerning the suspected manipulation and rigging of the bidding process of the PHP 220 Million submarine cable. Rene Tamayo, an associate is the main author. CGPC members Fe E. Ulfstein, Josie Bacsin and Jonas Ebcas are co-complainants. This is later registered as NEA ADCOM CASE NO. 22-03-15
April 29, 2015
CGPC organized a Press Conference in Cagayan de Oro. It was to discuss both the issue of the PHP 220 Million loan for a submarine cable and the concerns regarding the diesel power plant. A local journalist claimed that the Camiguin government had bought the press in order to suppress the opinion of CGPC. All questions were directed on WHY THE CGPC is against the diesel power plant in the name of PROGRESS.
Continuity of progress is the slogan of the ruling political clan during every election. Progress for whom?
June 5, 2015
CGPC hired a lawyer Atty. Erwin Bucio from the Cagayan de Oro law firm Barba. Until then no lawyers in Camiguin were willing to even notarize Position Papers nor Affidavits of CGPC .
Atty. Erwin Bucio filed Supplemental Comments to Respondents Affirmative Defense on the NEA ADCOM CASE NO. 22-03-2015 on behalf of CGPC. This was in answer to the Motion for Dismissal by CAMELCO.
June 11, 2015
Preliminary hearing of NEA ADCOM CASE NO. 22-03-2015. It was just to read the Complaints and the presented Motion for Dismissal of CAMELCO and the Response of the Complainants. CAMELCO again asked for 15 days time to respond.
WHAT DOES CAMELCO HAVE TO HIDE?
June 26, 2015
Finally, a Benoni, Camiguin born lawyer, also based in Cagayan de Oro City, Atty. Homer Mabale was hired by CGPC to file Mandamus (requiring document release) of the PHP 220 Million loan by CAMELCO.
This was supported by a Resolution of The Integrated Bar Association of the Philippines (IBP) Camiguin Chapter headed by the President Atty. Carlo Borromeo.
CAMELCO still refused to release the requested documents. What does CAMELCO have to hide?
September 24, 2015
Consumers representing CGPC, Maria Teresa R. Rami, Gil Jadman, Antonio D. Gultiano and Jim S. Dagondon filed a complaint at NEA ADCOM with Atty. Homer Mabale as their lawyer, demanding procurement documents of the submarine cable and the disqualification of GM Adriano Ebcas and Board of Directors Benjamin dela Plaza – NEA ADCOM CASE 04-10-15
November 5, 2015
CGPC organized a peaceful legal assembly in Mambajao, Camiguin. During the night the stage of the freedom park was flooded with used crude oil.
CGPC filed complaints at the Mayors’ Office, the DENR and the Philippine Police. No action was taken. Earlier, the Mayor did not issue a permit for a peaceful Assembly and rally in front of the power plant. The investigation report of the Police answered no questions and the Mayor did not reply for more than a month, only to attach the findings of the PNP. The DENR found the stage already cleaned up on their inspection but confirmed to have found traces of crude oil.
November 7, 2015
Second Peaceful Assembly in Sagay. The Vice Mayor granted a permit for the rally. Unidentified sources sabotaged it with smoke.
January 23, 2016
CGPC lawyer Atty. Erwin Bucio filed a MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION with NEA concerning ADCOM case no. 22-03-2015 in which the CAMELCO management is accused of manipulation and rigging of the bidding process for the submarine cable.
The NEA ADCOM case 22-03-2015 was dismissed by NEA due to lack of merit. This in spite of clear evidence presented that the process was indeed rigged!
June 14, 2016,
In another questionable decision NEA also dismissed the NEA ADCOM case no 04-10-2015 in which CGPC was asking for “Mandamus”, a demand that the documents concerning the submarine cable acquisition are made public to the consumers. What is the interest of NEA to keep the bidding documents a secret?
August 4, 2016
CGPC lawyer Atty. Homer Mabale filed a MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION with NEA concerning the Mandamus.
August 10, 2016
CGPC filed another case no. 10-08-2016 asking for the immediate removal of Gen. Manager Adriano Ebcas and the Board of Directors based on the adverse findings of the NEA Audit of June 2015.
December 6, 2016
Preliminary hearing of the NEA ADCOM Case no. 10-08-16 asking for the immediate takeover of CAMELCO by NEA due to gross mismanagement based on the June 2015 NEA audit.
CGPC CONTINUES TO DEMAND ANSWERS FOR THE SAKE OF THE CONSUMERS OF CAMELCO !
This is how CAMELCO got the 220 Million
THE CITIZENS CONTINUE TO DEMAND ANSWERS
This is how CAMELCO got the 220 Millions
|Guarantee Program||Loan Amount in Mio||Loan releases||Date of Loan releases|
|20.00||Dec. 28, 2012|
|ECPCG||140.00||97.50||March 28, 2013|
|22.50||Nov. 12, 2013|
|17.50||Nov. 12, 2013|
|LGUGC Guarantee Program||80.00||50.00||Feb. 24, 2014|