NEA to Buseco: Follow court order, re-instate Santoninio

MALAYBALAY CITY  (Bukidnon News/18 October) The National Electrification Administration said Bukidnon Second Electric Cooperative board member Jonally Santoninio keeps his post as director until the election of a new board member from Malaybalay City district.


Edita Bueno, NEA administrator told the board of directors of Buseco that as a matter of “judicial courtesy” Santoninio, who lost his seat in July 2009 on questions of technicality in his election, will stay as member of the board, based on the Regional Trial Court’s decision in July 2010 and upheld in December 2010.


“In view thereof, we enjoin you to conduct election the soonest possible time for the Malaybalay district to secure the fresh mandate from the member-consumers of the said district,” Bueno said in her September 9, 2011 letter.


She clarified that as requested by Santoninio, he be re-instated on a hold-over capacity.


The next regular election of the Buseco Malaybalay district representative to the board is in April 2012.


Santoninio said Bueno’s decision is a vindication for him. Reports said Buseco took the cue from NEA on what to do after the court’s decision.


Nine months have passed in between the court’s decision on December 9, 2010 and NEA’s letter to Buseco to follow the court’s order.


“This is a vindication, finally,” Santoninio told Bukidnon News Monday. But he noted that the management may still resist the NEA decision.


Edgardo Masongsong, Buseco general manager, in an SMS said the board of directors tackled the matter in its regular meeting on October 14 and a draft of letter reply has been prepared.


But Masongsong did not reveal the content of the reply yet.


In Bueno’s letter she noted that the Court of Appeals still has not issued a decision on Buseco’s appeal for the Regional Trial Court 10’s December 9 decision to deny its motion for reconsideration.


Bueno responded to Santoninio’s April 20, 2011 letter informing her of Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Josefina Gentilles-Bacal’s issuance of a Writ of Execution on December 20, 2011 resolving that his election on December 22, 2007 was a regular election.


In its July 2008 decision on Special Civil Action No. 496-09 “Jonally Santoninio vs. Buseco for injunction with TRO,” the court ruled that Santoninio’s election in December 22, 2007 to replace an unexpired term of another board member who run for city councilor, was regular.


They also declared the election held by Buseco in May 30, 2009 as null and void for Santoninio’s term has not expired then. He was elected on September 22, 2007 for a three-year term.


The court also ordered for the reinstatement and entitlement of honoraria, allowances, and benefits from the time Santoninio was deprived of his post until the expiration of his term on December 22, 2010. The court also ordered Buseco to pay a total of P125, 000 for moral and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.


Santoninio cited in his letter to Bueno that Malaybalay’s city council even passed a resolution on January 4, 2011 urging Buseco to “allow and respect” the court order. But instead, he added, Buseco allegedly passed a resolution requesting NEA to process the appointment of a replacement for him.


Santoninio told Bueno the Court of Appeals dismissed a Buseco petition in January 2011 praying for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction “enjoining him from sitting” in the board.


He said his letter to Bueno was only to inform NEA about the decisions of the courts “for whatever purpose it may serve.”
“I wish your honor will convince the Buseco board and management to give due respect to its own Constitution and By-Laws and observe the process. They needed your office advice to wait for the resolution of their petition with the Court of Appeals before they act on the aforementioned issue,” he said in his letter, which merited a decision by Bueno five months later (Walter I. Balane/Bukidnon News)


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