‘Wrong man for the job’: Lotilla’s confirmation as Energy Secretary faces opposition

The National Association of Electricity Consumers for Reforms, Inc. (Nasecore), a consumer welfare advocacy group, has asked members of the Commission on Appointments (CA) to reject Energy Secretary Raphael “Popo” Lotilla owing to his alleged bias towards some industry players and ties to the Aboitiz clan.

Nasecore said Lotilla, an abogado and former Aboitiz Power executive, is the wrong man for the job as they expect him to grant special favors to his home conglomerate while in power.

“While his experience and expertise in the energy sector are unquestionably vast and deep, the same are, sad to say, tainted by a long history of bias toward the big industry players – at the expense of consumers,” the group said in a Nov. 15 letter addressed to Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Nasecore said Lotilla’s past stints in government are indicators of how anti-consumer his policies were. They claimed that Lotilla sold assets of the National Power Corp. to private players for cheap, which had been disadvantageous to the national government.

Lotilla once served as Energy secretary under former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Nasecore said the abogado bears a “heavier baggage” now than before as he now has to please the Aboitiz Group, where he sat as a member of the board of directors.

“Admittedly, Atty. Lotilla is a likeable, amiable and knowledgeable person. But appearances are deceiving. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Nasecore added. “He will prey on the interests of the electricity consumers with a smile.”

“It is up to the members of this Commission to find out who is his real master – definitely, it is not the Filipino consumers.”