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'Bishop Baylon, why have you forsaken us?' Albay consumers group asks

LEGAZPI CITY—A consumers group here is calling on the Vatican and the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to launch a probe on Bishop Joel Z. Baylon’s alleged involvement in the Albay Power Energy Corporation (APEC)-and San Miguel Corporation Global Power Holdings (SMC) concession contract controversy.

Bishop Joel Baylon
Bishop Joel Baylon
Demetrio C. Reynoso, President of the Consumers Rights Watch Bicol (CRoW) has already sent letters containing the details of their complaints to CBCP, as well as to the members of the media.

The letter is an administrative complaint against the bishop, who, in his capacity as chairman of the Interim Board of Directors (IBOD), signed the concession contract, according to Reynoso.

“The concession agreement is illegitimate as it violates six (6) conditions of the Terms of Reference for the bidding,” the letter to CBCP President Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas reads.

“There was only one bidder, San Miguel Corporation, yet the Interim Board of Directors (headed by Bishop Baylon) and NEA insist that the process was valid,” it further states.

"Bishop Baylon, why have you forsaken us?" the letter asks.

The complaint ends by saying “Bishop Joel Z. Baylon committed a grave offense to his flock. For doing so, he has lost our respect and trust. We entreat the Pope to consider reassigning him somewhere else. May God forgive him for betraying us!”

Along with Baylon, the group says that the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the Department of Energy (DOE) and local officials may be involved in the issue.

Their next concern, the group explained in a statement, is to figure out how to make APEC answerable to the damages that the cooperative and the member-consumers suffered.

The group reiterates its “No payment to APEC” appeal as well as its recommendation to boycott products made by San Miguel Corporation, which owns SMC Global Corporation Power Holdings.—BICOLSTANDARD.COM
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