Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla has assured his fairness and independence in performing his work amid the conflict of interest issues raised against him due to his previous professional ties with the Aboitiz Group.
“Independence is the main ingredient here. I can assure that in so far as I am concerned, and the people I have worked with, that they will be independent in so far as supporting the President’s desire to have a level playing field,” said Lotilla, a former independent director of Aboitiz Power Corp.
“Because at the end of the day, it is when we are fair that the investors will come and our people will benefit…If we skew our decisions one way or the other because we owe appointments through this and that sector, then we would have done our people a disfavor, and that’s not the kind of legacy we want to leave behind,” Lotilla said.
During his nomination, concerns were raised about his eligibility for the top post at ERC. Still, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said his appointment was valid as the concept of an independent director was not contemplated by Republic Act 7638, otherwise known as the DOE Act of 1992.
DOJ said that according to subsequent laws, an independent director is not an officer based on the nature, duties, functions, and responsibilities vis-a-vis the corporation he serves.