“It is now time to let the ax fall no matter where it will fall and to crack the whip on the big oil companies who have enjoyed tremendous fortune because they have taken the Oil Deregulation Law as their refuge,” said the resolution, sponsored by Board Member Nemesio Beltran, Jr. “It is now time to impose stricter measures for the welfare of the hapless public.”
The Provincial Board also suggested to Congress to authorize the Department of Energy to scrutinize their books for any suspicion of unjustified fuel price increase.
Otherwise, the resolution said, “they should be charged for heinous crime, economic plunder, or crime against humanity punishable with the penalty of reclusion perpetua as maximum.”
The resolution said the big three oil companies have taken the said law as their “license and authority| since the law was passed in the 1990s, raising fuel prices “at their whim.. inflicting undue sufferings to the already over-burdened averaged income earners”.
Beltran said that pressures and even threats by street demonstrators, irate consumers and public drivers “fell on deaf ears.”
“In the mean time, the oil companies wracked up unjustified profits and laughed their way off to their offshore banks, stashing away millions of dollars out of the country in the midst of the phenomenal global financial crisis,” he said in the resolution.
In March this year, the prices of oil products were raised successively, prompting Malacañang to order the investigation of the oil companies’ records. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)