Napocor exploits chief lawyer as OIC after Benavidez’s death

The state-owned company National Power Corp. (Napocor) has appointed its chief lawyer Melchor Paz Ridulme as the responsible officer following the death of company president and CEO Pio J. Benavidez on June 22.

Napocor said in a statement that its board of directors chaired the Treasury Department made the decision on Wednesday. Benavidez, 69, succumbed to a heart attack Tuesday morning.

Ridulme, Napocor’s Vice Presidential Legal Adviser, is in charge until a new CEO is appointed by the President of the Philippines and formally elected by the Napocor Board.

“Ridulme has been the youngest vice president of Napocor and has held his current position for the last 10 years,” the state-owned company said.

A graduate of the University of the Philippines and San Beda College, Ridulme also chairs an Anti-Red Tape Committee as well as a committee of inquiry focusing on the company’s whistleblowing policy.

The lawyer also serves as the coordinator of the Philippines for the leaders of the Asean Power Utilities and Authorities.

In a tribute to Benavidez, Napocor said: “Boss Pio, as he was happily called by all, was a tough leader who defied any challenge while still having the capacity to be compassionate towards others.”

Benavidez was a mechanical engineer trained in power plant operation and maintenance, especially in geothermal based generators.

“He paved the way for his people to walk, he shared generously and learned his knowledge and experience and has devotedly loved public service since day one in 1974,” Napocor said.

Benavidez first worked for Napocor in 1974, but later entered the private sector. He was then named President and CEO of Napocor in 2017.

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