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Petron cuts ties with 5 dealers due to oil smuggling issues

Petron Corp., one of the largest oil companies in the Philippines, had cut its ties with five service stations dealer to avoid the risk of being linked to oil smuggling issues.PETRON LOGO

During the first six months of the year, Petron ended its contracts with five more service stations dealer because they allegedly commit ‘dumping’, a form of unfair competition punishable under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines or R.A. 8293.

‘Dumping’ is a direct result of oil smuggling which encourages the proliferation of sub-standard fuels that do not meet Philippine National Standards.

“The cmpany discovered that these dealers were dumping or acquiring fuels from other sources and then passing them off to consumers as Petron-branded products,” the company said in a statement.

Petron ended the dealer contracts of Benjamin Morgado (Brgy. Balayan, Victoria, Tarlac), Florante Soriquez (Brgy. San Miguel, Taguig City), Jesus Durano (Danao City, Cebu), Ivan Herrero (Tanjay, Negros Oriental) and Ferdinand Custodio (General Trias, Cavite).

Four of these dealers are now facing criminal complaints.

Cases against Morgado and Soriquez are now pending with the Prosecutor’s Office of Tarlac and Taguig, respectively, while the case against Custodio is pending with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila which issued the search warrant against him. The Office of the City Prosecutor of Tanjay City has found probable cause to indict Herrero for the crime of unfair competition.

Meanwhile, a new criminal complaint has been filed before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Cebu against Durano.

If found guilty, each respondent faces imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to P200,000.00 for violating Sections 168.2 and 168.3 of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

Petron has also pulled out all its equipment, branding materials, and ceased deliveries to the five stations to stop the respondents from cheating the public and curb this illegal practice.

In 2014, 20 dealer contracts were terminated followed by another 8 in 2015 due to dumping.