CENECO power outage sabotage - Power Watch Negros - Wennie Sancho - electricity - linemen - Bacolod City

Power Watch Negros suspects that internal forces are trying to sabotage CENECO's operation to cause power outages in their service area.

Power Watch Negros Suspects Power Outages as Sabotage

Power Watch Negros suspects that internal forces are trying to sabotage CENECO’s operation to cause power outages in their service area.


On their Facebook page, Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) keeps posting about rotating brownouts. Sometimes, these are scheduled but there are also times that there are just sudden troubles that cause power outages. With the intense heat we are experiencing this summer because of El Niño, people would complain on CENECO’s posts or rant on their walls about how bad CENECO’s service had been. But are these happenings unavoidable? Now, Power Watch Negros has raised suspicions about possible internal forces attempting to sabotage CENECO’s operation and causing these power outages throughout CENECO’s service area.

Power Outages a Sabotage?

PWN Secretary-General Wennie Sancho is preparing to file a complaint against some employees of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) who are allegedly involved in possible illicit activities leading to power outages that happened on March 26 and April 11 in Bacolod City.

On behalf of the consumers, Power Watch Negros will be requesting Atty. Arnel Lapore, Acting General Manager of CENECO, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into these hours-long brownouts. According to Sancho, these power outages have been a source of inconvenience, irritation, and sleep disturbances for consumers.

Power Watch Negros is also requesting that the National Electrification Administration (NEA) carry out a concurrent investigation, more notably about the April 11, 2024 brownout, Sancho also said. There were reports that an Optical Ground Wire, a type of overhead power line cable, was “disconnected” or severed, causing an extensive blackout lasting almost four hours. “We seek to discern whether this disconnection or severance of the optical ground wire was deliberate and intentional, or if it was a result of “force majeure”, Sancho said.

“It would ordinarily require a tool such as a bolt cutter to sever such a cable. If allegations are confirmed that CENECO linemen attempted to disrupt CENECO’s operations, this would constitute a serious crime causing harm to public welfare”, he added.

Consumer Rights

Sancho said further, “As member-consumer-owners (MCO) of CENECO, we have a fundamental right to remain informed consumers and to have efficient access to information on issues affecting the electric service of the concerned consumers. Power Watch strongly recommends that any involved linemen should recuse themselves from operating in the same area to avoid any potential whitewashing of the investigation”.

An in-depth investigation is necessary to identify the primary causes of these dreaded brownouts, especially those occurring at midnight or during the wee hours of the morning.

“If the allegations are proven true, it would be a disservice to our public. The situation at CENECO is aggravated by the irresponsibility of the Cooperative Union of Rural Electrification (CURE) members, who only seem to recognize their right to strike irrespective of the consequences and without any regard for the plight of consumers. Their sole concern appears to be self-oriented”, Sancho emphasized.

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