Press Release
April 14, 2009


Senator Chiz Escudero on Tuesday demanded that Malacañang and the Department of Energy (DOE) make good its promise to conduct an audit of the books of oil firms amid the latest round of price hikes in petroleum products.

"What happened to the Palace's order two weeks ago to conduct an audit on oil firms' books? Or with Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes' similar promise two years back? Were they said just for good sound bytes?" Escudero said in a statement.

The opposition senator said the supposed audit "that never happened" was intended to check for signs of alleged price manipulation by oil firms.

"If our government cannot even understand how these oil companies work, then we are doomed. We will always be at the mercy of these giant corporations. We will always take their statements at face value. Why? Because every time oil prices go up, our top officials in government scratch their heads in total cluelessness," he said.

At the same time, Escudero called on all the oil companies to explain how they come up with decisions, with their corresponding computations, to increase pump prices.

"The oil industry is a sector that is impressed with public interest. These oil companies should explain to the public how they increase their prices, what factors affect their decisions and how they compute the rates," he said.

Escudero challenged the oil companies to find ways of bringing down the cost of fuel in the country.

"They can make this a part of their corporate social responsibility. They can tap their research and development arms to develop cheaper gasoline and diesel," he said.

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