Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate urged the government to be transparent and reveal the real cause of the Mindanao-wide Easter Sunday outage.

“We challenge the Aquino administration, particularly the Department of Energy (DOE), to be transparent and reveal to the public the real cause of the Mindanao-wide Easter Sunday outage that left millions of residents in the dark for seven hours,” Zarate said.

Zarate said the black out is now “an annual occurrence” citing that similar incident happened in February 27 last year “when the Aboitiz-controlled STEAG State Power Inc. coal-fired power plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental mysteriously dropped its capacity from 200 megawatts to 160 megawatts.”

“Was it merely coincidence that the recent Easter Sunday blackout occurred when another Aboitiz-owned coal-fired power plant in Mindanao started its operation?” asked Zarate.

“This recent blackout came at a time too when the Aquino government is again aggressively  pushing for the privatization of the Agus-Pulangi Hydro Power Complex, which count for at least 50 percent of the power source in Mindanao. There is more to these outages than meets the eye and the people of Mindanao wants an answer from the DOE and the other agencies like the NGCP,” Zarate said.

Mindanao Development Authority director of Investment Promotions and Public Affairs, Romeo Montenegro, said that a breakdown of a switchyard connected to the a government-run hyrdoelectric powerplant triggered the Mindanao blackout. (

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