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DOE sets hearing on case vs. 3 oil firms

CEBU, Philippines - The joint Task Force on Oil Deregulation against what is called “predatory” oil price manipulation has set a clarificatory hearing on the case filed against the three oil big companies. 

Department of Energy Undersecretary Roy Kymako, co-chairman of the joint task force of the DOE and Department of Justice, said the hearing will be conducted this Thursday relative to a criminal complaint filed by Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for alleged violation of the Oil Deregulation Law.

Kyamko informed that the venue for the hearing will be at the conference room of the Central Command in Camp Lapu-Lapu, Cebu City.

Prior to that, Petron objected to the holding of hearing in Cebu saying that clarificatory hearing, if any, must be held at the office of the investigating panel in Manila.

“There is nothing in the Rules and Regulation of the DOE-DOJ Joint Task Force, which allows the Investigating Panel to transfer the venue of a clarificatory hearing for purposes of public viewing,” Petron said in its letter opposing the holding of the hearing in Cebu.

Garcia sued Pilipinas Shell, Petron and Chevron Corp. for alleged violation of Section 11 R.A. 8479 or the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998.

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The above law penalizes cartilization and predatory pricing of petroleum products. 

The complaint was also signed by Samuel Chioson, president of Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Efrain Pelaez Jr., president of the Mactan Island Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Eric Mendoza, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Jay Yuvallos, president of the Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport)-Cebu; and Filomeno Lim, president of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber and Commerce-Cebu

  Last Friday, the Regional Development Council-7 also passed a resolution supporting the move of Garcia and the members of the business sector against the three big oil companies. — Garry B. Lao/WAB    (THE FREEMAN)

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