Transport group storms DOJ

MEMBERS of the militant transport group Pagkakaisa ng Manggagawa sa Transportasyon (PMT) and allied organizations stormed the office of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in Manila to condemn the agency’s inaction on the complaint they filed against the Big 3 oil companies (Petron, Shell and Chevron). The protesters claimed that the price adjustments done recently are not enough and “were only meant to fool and divert the attention of the masses”.

On September 14, 2011 the PMT through its President, Dante Lagman, filed a complaint against the Big 3. The group accused the oil companies of cartelization, overpricing and price manipulation. Seeking immediate action, the group invoked Article IV, Section 14 (d) of R.A. 8479 or Oil Industry Deregulation Law which mandates the DOE-DOJ task force to determine the merits of a complaint and initiate the necessary action within 30 days.

“Despite Sec. de Lima’s promise of immediate action on the complaint, we have not received any information much more action from her office. The law clearly orders them to act within 30 days. They have clearly violated their own law and we will file the appropriate charges against the responsible government officials as provided in the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R.A. 8479.” narrated PMT spokesperson Roger Javinal.

“PNoy’s much-ballyhooed adherence to the rule of law is again proven to be a joke. He along with his deputies Sec. de Lima and Almendras will be held accountable.” added Javinal.

“The utter disregard of the safeguards of R.A. 8479, more importantly, shows that the proper implementation will not and can never happen. At the heart of the deregulation policy is the “free market” wherein government intervention is forbidden. So-called market forces are decisive in an environment where the oil oligopoly (Big 3) controls everything. Simply, government turns its back on the people and closes its eyes as oil capitalists fleece the masses for greater profits.” explained PMT Sec. Gen. Larry Pascua.

The PMT vowed more mass protest actions until their demands to punish the oil firms for price manipulation and over-pricing, government control of the oil industry and removal of the 12% Value-Added Tax (VAT) are met. The group is set to file an “Oil Industry Regulatory Commission” Bill in Congress when it resumes next month.

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