Duterte Sacks NEA Chief After Corruption Probe

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MANILA, Philippines— President Rodrigo Duterte said he approved the dismissal of National Electrification Administration chief Edgardo Masongsong as recommended.

“PACC (Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission) conducted the investigation and made the recommendation for his dismissal. So I have approved,” Duterte said in a taped address which aired on Saturday.

He did not go into specifics.

In May 2021, the PACC filed a complaint before the Ombudsman against Masongsong for allegedly allowing electric cooperatives to contribute funds to a party-list group’s campaign in 2019. The commission said it recommended charges for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as well as the Omnibus Election Code.

According to the PACC, electric cooperatives (ECs) issued a number of board resolutions for the use of funds to help in the Philippine Rural Electric Cooperatives Association’s (Philreca) bid for a congressional seat in 2019.

“NEA administrator Edgardo Masongsong has never objected to the provisions of the said board resolutions,” the PACC said in Filipino. It added that the law states, however, that persons operating a public utility are prohibited from contributing funds for purposes of partisan political activity.

“The PACC will follow the Ombudsman’s investigation until corrupt officials are formally charged in court and are legally held responsible,” the commission continued.

Masongsong called the claims “baseless and malicious.” He added public funds were not used for campaign.


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