Press Release
November 13, 2009


Opposition Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday expressed disappointment with government for apparently giving in to the arm-twisting tactics employed by the Big 3 oil firms, with its decision to revoke Executive Order (EO) 839 that put a cap on the price of fuel.

"The suffering of the people will continue while these oil companies rejoice," the 40-year-old senator noted.

Malacanang came up with EO 839 in a bid to freeze the price of fuel and other petroleum products to October 15 levels in Luzon and Metro Manila which were devastated by typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng.

Both the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Energy recommended the revocation of EO 839. Earlier this week, DOJ Sec. Agnes Devanadera hinted that EO 839 would be lifted after the Big 3 warned that supplies of petroleum products were starting to diminish.

"I disagree with the lifting just like that and government giving in to pressure exerted by the Big 3.

At the very least, the government should have taken steps to have their books and inventory opened to ensure transparency in the process and prevent collusion as well as over-pricing to the detriment of consumers," Escudero stressed.

Before Sec. Devanadera's statement, many were surprised by the stance of DOE Sec. Angelo Reyes who appeared to be siding with the Big 3 during a recent dialogue where participants included representatives from the said oil firms transport groups.

"You cannot force private corporations to sell at a loss indefinitely. It is better that people will know. It's not good to conceal facts from the people," Reyes was quoted as saying.

Escudero said he regretted the fact that Sec. Devanadera and Sec. Reyes may have been swayed by the tactics and threats used by the Big 3 which were vehemently against the price cap.

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