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Baldoza: Tupas gave me envelope with cash 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo 

A RETIRED judge and president of the Iloilo Electric Cooperative (Ileco) 3 board finally admitted receiving money from Iloilo Gov. Niel D. Tupas Sr. to favor an independent power producer.

Mateo Baldoza confirmed his first statement over Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo last May 5 that Tupas handed him an envelope filled with cash during a meeting with officials of Applied Research Technologies Phils. (Artech).

Baldoza made the admission during the hearing yesterday conducted by the National Electrification Administration (NEA) investigation committee on the alleged bribery issue involving Artech and Ileco 3 officials.

The hearing was held at the Ileco 1 main office in Tigbauan, Iloilo Tuesday to look into allegations that Artech handed cash to the directors to approve the 25-year power supply agreement the firm offered to the cooperative.

Baldoza spilled the beans on Artech and Tupas during the examination conducted by Atty. Ramil Naciongayo, counsel for the complainants Gerardo P. Panes and Evelyn P. Peñaflor who called for the NEA probe.

According to Baldoza, he and the Ileco 3 directors were called to a meeting with Artech officials led by president Reynaldo Uy at Tupas’ mansion in MV Hechanova, Jaro, Iloilo City last April 17, 2009.

Baldoza said Tupas called him inside a room of the mansion where the latter gave him an envelope while telling him to help Artech.

The retired judge later learned that the envelope contained P75,000 cash when he got home from the meeting.

He also confirmed that he received another envelope with P75,000 cash after their board meeting April 21, the day they approved the power supply deal with Artech.

In sum, Baldoza received P150,000 cash from Artech. Uy and Tupas had denied Baldoza’s allegations.

Aksyon Radyo anchorman Joel Tormon also testified before the AdCom relative to his May 5 interview with Baldoza.

Tormon said he confirmed the authenticity of the transcript of his interview with Baldoza which was admitted as evidence in the NEA probe.

Tormon said Baldoza’s statements during the NEA hearing were the same information and sequence of events the latter told during the May 5 interview with Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo.

A day after his interview with Tormon, Baldoza modified his statement in a local newspaper saying a woman employee of Artech gave the cash-laden envelope during the meeting at Tupas’ mansion.

But he again hinted that the governor gave him the cash-filled envelope when he faced the probe conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

In his affidavit submitted to the NEA AdCom last August, Baldoza said he received the cash-filled envelope from someone during the meeting at Tupas’s mansion.

Baldoza said that after eating at Tupas’s house, he was called inside the living room where that “someone” thrust the envelope in his hand.

By Francis Allan L. Angelo


THE whistleblower of the alleged bribery in the power supply agreement (PSA) between Iloilo Electric Cooperative (Ileco) 3 and an independent power producer appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Monday to shed light on the controversy.


Former Judge Mateo Baldoza, president of Ileco 3 board of directors, went to the office of Atty. Arnold Diaz around 10am yesterday.


Diaz is in charge of the NBI probe on the deal between Ileco 3 and Applied Research Technologies Phils., Inc. (Artech).


Diaz said they summoned Baldoza after receiving complaints from two Ileco 3 consumers last June 1.


Diaz refused to identify the complainants as they have yet to be summoned by the NBI.


Baldoza sported a wide smile when he went out of the backdoor of the NBI regional office. He quickly rode his car, an indication that he was not inclined to talk to the media.


Diaz said Baldoza is the first resource person they invited as they started their probe.


“His initial statements are substantial enough for our investigation but we will not reveal the details until we have completed our data gathering. We will still invite other resource persons,” Diaz said.

In an interview with Aksyon Radyo, Baldoza said he told the NBI the same thing he told Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas Raul Banias and other personalities in the 5th congressional district.

Banias earlier said that Baldoza told him about the pressure and money he received from Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas Sr. in exchange for the approval of the Ileco 3-Artech deal.

Diaz said they will collate facts surrounding the Ileco 3-Artech deal before they determine the culpability of persons involved in the controversy.


Baldoza claimed in an interview with Aksyon Radyo last May 5 that he received an envelope containing P75,000 from Iloilo Governor Niel Tupas Sr. during a meeting with Artech officials at the governor’s mansion in Jaro, Iloilo City last April 17.


Baldoza also claimed in the same interview that a female Artech employee gave him another envelope with P75,000 in a hotel in Iloilo City April 21, the same day they approved and signed the PSA with Artech.   All in all, he got a total of P150,000.


But the former judge modified his statement saying it was a female Artech employee in black clothes who gave the money to him in Tupas’ mansion.


Diaz said bribery might not figure in the Ileco 3-Artech issue because the cooperative and its directors who allegedly received money are private individuals and entity.


“Bribery can only exist if you give money or favors to government officials in the exercise of their function. In this case, Ileco 3 is a private entity,” Diaz said.


Diaz said officials who were involved in the alleged bribery might be charged with violation of Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act “but we will determine first who are really involved in this case.”

July 2020

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