Petilla bids DOE goodbye

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla’s 52nd birthday celebration at the Department of Energy (DOE) Wednesday was also his farewell party with officials and staff members.

Petilla confirmed reports of his resignation “for personal reasons” and at the same time said it was his last day in office as DOE chief.

Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada was named as officer-in-charge.

Petilla said his resignation was not due to pressure or conflicts, noting that he had been seeking exit from the DOE for a while now but had to deal with emergencies first such as the tight supply situation in Luzon.

“I believe we can survive this summer. Everything that needed to be done has been done,” Petilla said. He expressed confidence that having an officer-in-charge run the DOE would suffice until President Benigno Aquino names the next energy chief.

Asked whether he would be open to extending his stay at DOE if Malacanang asks, Petilla said he may stay for the short-term for “transition purposes” if given clear instructions or if he is convinced there is something to be done that the other officials cannot handle.

However, he said he is not willing to stay all the way until October, when those joining the electoral race next year must declare their candidacy.

Petilla also confirmed plans of running in the next elections but said he is keeping his options open on what position to seek.