06 July 2006
An anti-power privatization group reiterated its call today for the government to stop privatization deals with Masinloc and the privatization of Napocor altogether, in reaction to reports that the government is still giving time for YNN Pacific to make its initial payments for the 600-MW power plant.
The Freedom from Debt Coalition said that the government must realize by now that the privatization of NPC assets has failed as evidenced by the unsuccessful sale of Masinloc.
“It is despicable that the government has to resort to some sort of conspiracy and even going to the extent of betraying public trust just to save the privatization of Masinloc and, in effect, the YNN Pacific,” said FDC Secretary General Milo Tanchuling.
The group criticized government’s pronouncement made by Department of Finance Secretary Margarito Teves that it is open to giving YNN Corporation until July 31 to deliver the $227-million down payment for Masinloc.
“As the DoF Secretary is the alter ego of the President, his statement also implies that the President is knowledgeable of the deals. In effect, the President tolerates this insidious deal against the people,” said Tanchuling.
Tanchuling said that too much time has been given YNN Pacific to make its upfront payment and that its consistent failure to meet the two deadlines is a very clear indication that it cannot pay even less than half of its bid price of $561-million for Masinloc.
Tanchuling pointed out that the conspiracy of government officials, PSALM, NPC, and even the Department of Energy, just to accommodate YNN Pacific and its new would-be majority owner Ranhill Berhad, only correspond their removal from office.
FDC said that contrary to PSALM’s earlier pronouncement that there would be no supply contracts attached to the sale of NPC generation assets, its actions, after the bid was won by YNN Pacific, speak otherwise.
FDC emphasized that no less than DoE Secretary Rafael Lotilla admitted that there has been negotiations going on between the government and Meralco for a power supply deal with the distribution utility and Masinloc plant. It was also reported that PSALM Vice President Noni Bernardo represented PSALM in these negotiations.
“Ironically, it appears that the government is negotiating for YNN Pacific. The statement of Secretary Teves also shows that the government again is giving YNN Pacific until July 31 this year anticipating that a supply deal will with Meralco will be forged,” Tanchuling noted.
Ranhill Berhad, the Malaysian firm that would infuse additional equity to YNN Pacific, has until July 31, 2006 to finalize ownership of YNN Pacific. But said equity infusion depends on a power supply deal with Meralco.
Since the past months, government through PSALM and NPC has been negotiating with Meralco to seal a power supply contract with YNN Pacific for Masinloc’s power. ###