Three butane dealers sentenced
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - July 12, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — For refilling Liquefied Petroleum Gas into butane canisters then selling them to customers, three dealers have been meted three up to four years in prison.

Department of Energy-Visayas Field Office officer-in-charge, Engr. Jose Rey Maleza, said that the Municipal Trial Court in Cities in Toledo City recently sentenced Aldrin Legazpi Ducay of Barangay Upper Poog, Toledo City, for violation of Batas Pambansa 33, as amended by Presidential Decree 1865, to an imprisonment of three years minimum to four years maximum for retailing petroleum products without license or authority from their agency.

BP 33, amended by PD 1865, imposes a fine of not less than P20,000 but no more than P50,000 or imprisonment of two years minimum and five years maximum, or both, to violators.

Maleza said that the police report shows that on the afternoon of May 1, 2019, Ducay was intercepted by operatives from PNP Toledo City who were serving an arrest warrant for another case.

Ducay was caught illegally selling LPG in canisters previously filled with butane, Maleza said.

Also, the Municipal Trial Court in Cities in Carcar City also found John Roderick Alesna Alcarez and Oliver Bolocboloc Aleonar, both residents of Poblacion, Carcar City, Cebu, guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the same offense.

Maleza added that police records shows that on February 17, 2019, both men were caught flagrantly refilling LPG into canisters not intended for LPG use and using an improvised refilling machine.

“The PNP in Central Visayas, in coordination with the Department of Energy, is intensifying its campaign against illegal activities in the downstream oil industry, particularly the illegal refilling of uncompliant containers with LPG. Canisters, previously filled with butane, are for one-time use only and shall not be refilled with LPG,” Maleza said in his Facebook post.

It was the DOE-VFO that filed the charges against the individuals.

The DOE has been warning the public against the emergence of illegally LPG-refilled butane canisters that continue to circulate in provincial markets.

DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier said that it is their mandate to ensure the safety of the people by monitoring the quality and quantity of LPG products being sold in the market.

“LPG-refilled butane canisters are extremely dangerous, especially since butane canisters should only be used once. Refilling these tin canisters with LPG could cause fire and also greatly endanger the lives of our consumers,” Cusi said in a statement.

DOE further assured the public they will continue to monitor illegal activities in the energy industry that pose a threat to the lives of the people. It will likewise provide technical assistance to the police on the apprehension of individuals involved in illegal practices. — BRP (FREEMAN)

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