Ex-SC chief justices named as DOE legal advisors

To ensure that the policy recommendations from the Department of Energy (DOE) to the President and Congress are fully grounded on the Constitution, the laws of the land, and sound legal principles, Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla created an Advisory Panel composed of distinguished Senior Legal Advisors from the private sector who will advise the DOE on energy law reform and various energy-related legal matters.

“These distinguished Senior Legal Advisors from the private sector are Retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban and Retired Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno,” Secretary Lotilla announced.

Retired Chief Justice Panganiban and Retired Chief Justice Puno have kindly agreed to be the co-chairs of the DOE’s Law and Energy Advisory Panel. They will serve as private citizens and will not assume any public office”, the Secretary added.  Legal responsibility and accountability will continue to reside in the DOE.

The functions of the Law and Energy Advisory Panel are focused on advising the DOE on various energy-related reform initiatives and legal matters, including the promotion of indigenous as well as low-carbon sources.

The proposed initial discussions will cover legal issues involving the country’s upstream oil and gas sector in general including the country’s biggest gas-to-power initiative to date—the Malampaya-Camago project.

The Advisory Panel will also advise the DOE on the objectives, content, and overall substance of the energy sector’s legislative agenda that cover alternative and new technologies.

The Panel will also advise the DOE on the enhancement of its legal processes to help achieve its mandate of improving the people’s welfare in the energy sector and encourage investments, especially from the private sector, towards ensuring an affordable, sufficient, and sustainable energy supply for the Filipino people.

“The Advisory Panel or its members may also assist the DOE in communicating any aspects of the DOE’s legal or policy initiatives which have been the subject of their advice,” the Secretary added.

“As I have extended my appreciation to the two distinguished Retired Chief Justices for accepting the DOE’s invitation, I cannot overstate the value that their legal expertise and wisdom will bring to the table as we take up at the DOE critical and law-related decisions affecting the present and future generations,” Secretary Lotilla said.