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Petition filed to nullify Oil Deregulation Law

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — A petition to nullify Republic Act 8479, or the Oil Deregulation Law, was filed recently at the City Prosecutor's Office by 1-UTAK (1-United Transport Koalition) party-list and representatives of nine Bacolod-based transport groups and eight national organizations.

The petition was signed by 1-UTAK national chairman Vigor Mendoza II and transport leaders Melencio Vargas, Orlando Marquez, Teddy Macainan, Zenaida Maranan, Obet Martin, Maning Duran, Efren Dela Luna, Brent Sayasa and Elizabeth Katalbas.

The petition read: "There is a need to declare the Oil Deregulation Law unconstitutional because it is vague and therefore must be considered void. There is a need to declare the whole R.A. 8470 unconstitutional for its failure to define and set guidelines for the determination of a fair price."

It added by citing fair prices as primordial in R.A. 8479 but not defined in any part of the law on what a "fair price" is, thus leaving confusion to the public.

Mendoza said that due to the incompleteness or undue delegation of authority, this law can be declared null and void. Even the government has been confused about what the price of fuel should be, citing the case of the NEDA and the DOE which came up with different computations, he said.

Mendoza said if there are parameters set, the oil companies will have to comply, otherwise it would be violating the law. He also pointed out that the DOE has no authority to determine what is a "fair pricing" since it is Congress that was given the power to declare so.

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The petition was filed in Bacolod because this is where the prices of fuel are highest in Western and Central Visayas, he said adding that this move was the first of a series of steps his groups would be taking to attain the objective.

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