The head of Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. has cried foul over the 90-day suspension imposed by the agency’s board, saying he was not given due process.
PSALM president and chief executive Emmanuel Ledesma Jr. said the board’s statement on his suspension was “malicious and suppressed the truth and circumstances of his preventive suspension.”
“Notwithstanding that the very issue that has been presented to the appointing authority, the President, for his consideration and action, the PSALM board issued the patently illegal preventive suspension against Mr. Ledesma,” his lawyers said in a statement.
Ledesma was appointed by President Aquino as the president and chief executive of PSALM in September 2010.
Ledesma, in a separate letter to the Office of the Deputy Executive Secretary of Legal Affairs, sought clarification whether PSALM board had the authority to issue the suspension and designate an officer-in-charge.
“Moreover, I have to respectfully request the Office of the President to take action or issue directives to rectify the situation created by the action of the PSALM board of directors, in the event that my legal position is upheld,” he said.
The PSALM board said it acted on the recommendation of the Governance Commission for GOCCs which made a recommendation to replace Ledesma based on an alleged complaint, which, according to the official was never shown to him.
The GCG findings was forwarded and brought to President Aquino who referred the same to his legal group.
“As the appointing authority, it is the Office of the President which is the proper authority to conduct an investigation and issue the corresponding preventive suspension order, if warranted. The PSALM Board has no authority to do so,” Ledesma said.
Ledesma said the PSALM board made it appear that the May 5 meeting was a mere board meeting, but instead it was converted into an administrative proceeding.
“The PSALM board never conducted an investigation where evidence, witnesses or position papers were presented. Despite Mr. Ledesma’s protestations that the matter was already before President Aquino, the PSALM Board proceeded to issue his preventive suspension,” his lawyers said.
Ledesma said the suspension was “double illegal” because there was no pending investigation by the PSALM board.
“A preventive suspension is supposed to be issued pending an investigation,” he said.