Oil Firms Deserve Full Audit, ‘Real’ Govt Intervention

Saying it is high time the government showed real intervention, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson threw his support Tuesday behind calls to have oil firms’ books subjected to a full audit. 

Lacson said an audit should be a more realistic measure than the supposed “moral persuasion” by Malacañang that led to a P1.50/liter rollback in diesel prices.

“It’s time for government to intervene in accordance with existing laws to check on possible exploitation and abuse by so-called businessmen whose only passion in life is profit,” he said.

He noted such an audit, along with the exercise of prosecutorial powers by a new task force of the justice and energy departments, is in accordance with the oil deregulation law.

In contrast, he said Mrs. Arroyo’s move to roll back diesel prices by P1.50/liter betrayed her tendency to “intervene” only when her political survival is at stake.

“What we Filipino taxpayers and consumers need is a government that will protect us from abuse all the time, not only when its political survival is in danger,” he said.

Lacson urged the task force to throw the book at the oil firms if it finds evidence of profiteering at Filipino consumers’ expense.

“The oil companies deserve such audit and eventual prosecution of their executives, should evidence warrant,” he said.

More importantly, he said the Justice Department is finally doing its job even if the Energy Department miserably failed to check on the possible abuses of oil firms.

“What’s commendable about the DOJ doing what the DOE is miserably failing to do as part of its mandate is the likely possibility of a shortened process in providing justice to the fuel-consuming public who may be long-time victims of the gluttony for profit by confederating oil companies,” he said.