Miriam Defensor Santiago
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

[box type=”default” size=”large”] To give President free hand to solve looming electric supply crisis [/box]MANILA — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, former Senate energy committee chairperson, has expressed support for a Malacanang request to Congress to give President Aquino a free hand in solving an expected power crisis in mid-2015.

Santiago said she will vote for the immediate grant by Congress of emergency powers to the President so that the problem could be addressed as soon as possible.

Since the situation is unusual and abnormal, the emergency powers should not last for more than six months because a long period might give “attributes” of dictatorship to the President, she saidd.

Santiago also said that the hands of the President should be tied down with certain terms and conditions to be given by Congress.

Malacanang wanted both legislative chambers – the Senate and the House of Representatives – to pass soon a joint resolution directing the President “to establish generating capacity’’ to avert a looming power crisis.

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said this is impossible as both chambers have only three more days of plenary session before going into a three-week recess starting Sept. 26.

He also asked aloud how Department of Energy (DoE) Secretary Jericho Petilla would spend the requested P6 billion to be used in dealing the looming power crisis.

The Senate Chief said he had received a copy of the President’s request for emergency powers but it lacked details.

He said Petilla has not listed down the parameters of the President’s powers. (Mario Casayuran, Manila Bulletin)