Group urges to drop crooked LPG refillers

THE LPG Refillers’ Association (LPGRA) has been urged to throw out dishonest cooking gas dealers whose establishments have been raided by the authorities for alleged abusive trade practices.

“If the LPGRA wants to gain some credibility, they should first kick out their crooked members who are facing complaints for defrauding consumers and other violations of petroleum trading laws,” the party-list group LPG Marketers’ Association (LPG-MA) said.

“Right now, LPGRA has zero credibility, because it would appear they are coddling unscrupulous traders short selling the cooking fuel and using substandard and hazardous cylinders,” said LPG-MA Rep. Arnel Ty, a member of the House energy committee.

Ty cited the case of X-5 Marketing, which runs several shady LPG refilling stations in Metro Manila and Luzon.

Citing Department of Energy records, Ty said X-5 is owned by a Bulacan mayoralty candidate now wanted by the authorities for the murder of a police officer.

Ty was referring to San Rafael, Bulacan vice-mayor Cipriano ‘Goto’ Violago Jr., now running for mayor.

Violago is also a ranking official of LPGRA, which has been engaged in “negative campaigning” against LPG-MA via paid advertisements.

Last week, Bulacan Regional Trial Court Judge Corazon Domingo-Rañola issued a warrant for Violago’s arrest in connection with the murder of SPO1 Rafael Bartolome.

Based on court records, Bartolome was gunned down on May 13, 2012, in Lapidsville Subdivision, Barangay Tambubong, San Rafael.

Violago and four cohorts set-up and killed Bartolome, according to the National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), which filed the case against the vice-mayor and his accomplices.

The CIDG said Violago allegedly attempted to bribe and recruit Bartolome and other (CIDG) agents to provide “protection” to X-5’s suspicious business activities.

Besides the murder case, the CIDG has other pending charges against Violago, after X-5 was raided and caught red-handed running an illicit LPG refilling station in Valenzuela City.

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