MANILA, Philippines – An incumbent partylist representative has been found guilty of unauthorized refilling of cooking gas cylinders (LPG tanks) from oil companies in the Philippines.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malabon City has convicted Liquified Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPGMA) representative Arnel Ty for violating Section 2 of Republic Act No. 33 or “shortselling and adulteration of petroleum and petroleum products.”
The 16-page decision penned by presiding judge Ofelia Contreras-Santiago stated that government prosecutors were able to present sufficient evidence that Ty was guilty of illegally refilling LPG tanks of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum, Petron, and Total Gas.
Santiago shot down Ty’s explanation that the empty branded LPG tanks seized from his warehouse were part of a “marketing strategy” of the big oil companies.
He eventually admitted that his business, Republic Gas Corporation (Regasco), has no written authorization from the Department of Energy (DOE) to refill LPG tanks for the big oil companies.
“It is highly doubtful that the volume of the confiscated filled branded LPG cylinders constitutes the number of converted clients,” the decision stated. “No consumer in his right mind would trade off a newly-purchased or filled LPG gas cylinder for another brand which is being offered for a lesser price.”
In addition, witness Marvin de Jamil narrated that he saw Regasco employees refilling empty LPG cylinders during a test-buy operation conducted in 2004.
Ty was sentenced to pay a fine of P50,000 ($1035) with subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. The trial court also ordered the cancellation of Regasco’s license to operate and forfeiture. – Rappler.com