Published: September 6, 2012
Labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno slammed today the Independent Oil Price Review Committee (IOPRC) for saying that oil companies are not guilty of overpricing and that the Oil Deregulation Law is working, calling the committee a defender of oil companies’ greed.
After more than five months of study, the IOPRC announced the findings of its probe into allegations of oil overpricing last Wednesday, clearing the oil companies, including the “Big 3” composed of Petron, Shell and Caltex, of any wrongdoing.
“Just as expected, the IOPRC is undertaking a cover-up of the oil companies’ crimes and the Aquino government’s collusion with the oil companies. It is now spewing lies in order to defend oil companies’ greed,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“How can the oil companies’ profit be reasonable when they rake in the biggest profits while workers and the public suffer from high oil prices? How can the Oil Deregulation Law be working when it is intensifying the suffering of workers and the poor?” he asked.
Petron, Shell and Caltex ranked Top 1, Top 2 and Top 5 respectively among corporations with the biggest profits in 2010.
“The claim that oil companies are not overpricing their products flies in the face of discrepancies between local and world price movements that various groups in the country have been monitoring for years,” Labog said.
“There have been instances where oil companies have increased prices at rates higher than those projected by the Department of Energy itself,” he added.
KMU backed Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño’s call for a Congressional investigation into the findings of the IOPRC.
“We are confident that the IOPRC’s findings will not stand the test of genuine public scrutiny. The oil monopoly’s greed has been thoroughly exposed by researches both in the country and abroad,” Labog said.
“The members of the IOPRC are well-known defenders of deregulation and capitalist greed. The so-called representative of the transport sector, Atty. Vigor Mendoza, was a lawyer for Hacienda Luisita Inc. and an Aquino stooge,” he said.
The labor center called on the public to continue to hold protests against the overpricing of oil companies and the Aquino government’s collusion with the Big 3 amidst recent spikes in the prices of petroleum products.
“We call on the workers and public: Let us show the IOPRC, the Aquino government, and the Big 3 oil companies that we will not be duped by their lies. Let us continue to protest rising oil prices and prepare for a People’s Protest in the coming weeks,” Labog said.