Sunday, April 24, 2005

NR0420:GMA should buy back Petron shares

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release April 20, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio, Chief of Staff
Cellphone number 09213907362

Solon challenges Pres. Arroyo to release an executive order buying out Saudi Aram Co's shares in Petron; prioritize HB 1063 or the law junking oil deregulation

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's endorsement of the products and the company itself of Petron should be taken one step further. "Instead of just urging the public to patronize Petron and to buy their gasoline and other petroleum products from the said company, Pres. Arroyo should facilitate moves to buy back majority shares in the said company from Saudi AramCo, and endorse to the Senate and Congress the immediate repeal of the Oil Deregulation Law, " he said.

He challenged Pres. Arroyo to prioritize HB 1065, or the bill repealing oil deregulation. The bill is authored by Anakpawis, Bayan Muna and Gabriela Women's Party solons.

The veteran labor leader said that Pres. Arroyo's declaration that the public should buy Petron products was an outright statement against Shell and Caltex, the two main competitors of Petron. "The government should then pour its complete support behind Petron and buy out the said company from Saudi AramCo. This would be a very decisive step in controlling a large section of the oil industry, and getting a grip on the unruly and exploitative pricing mechanism of the oil cartel which includes Petron," he said.

Beltran said that nationalization is the genuine alternative to oil deregulation. "Nationalization can correct this set-up by reversing the "depoliticized" price setting and having instead a regulated pricing mechanism. "Nationalization takes cognizance of the need to make petroleum products affordable. It becomes feasible therefore to institute cross-subsidies, such as the pump prices of socially sensitive products like diesel, kerosene and LPG are subsidized," he said.

Finally, Beltran said that President Arroyo does not need any emergency powers to solve the ever-worsening oil and energy crisis. He said giving Pres. Arroyo emergency powers would well lead her to further abuse her authority.

"The powers she possesses right now as the highest executive in the land are more than enough to settle and settle with finality the country's oil problems. The first step would be to hasten the deliberations and passage of a law junking oil deregulation and facilitating the nationalization of the country's oil industry," he said.

"Since she is already very fond of issuing executive orders, and as there is already a state of emergency when it comes to the high prices pf petroleum, Pres. Arroyo should issue an EO declaring the government's intent to buy back Petron, and eventually revoke oil deregulation." #


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