MANILA, Philippines - Petron Corp. said it filed criminal charges against 8 former station dealers who were found to have been getting fuel from illegal sources and passing them off as Petron products.
Petron said it had terminated the contracts of the station dealers after it discovered they were engaged in illegal "dumping." This practice is a form of unfair competition punishable under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines or R.A. 8293.
Charges were filed against Nestor Orfanel of Catanauan, Quezon, Faustino D. Bulaga of San Miguel, Bohol, Connie Figueroa of Bani, Pangasinan, Paul Galicia of New Bataan, Compostela Valley, Alma Yap of Central Caraga, Davao Oriental, Roberto Soncuya of Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, Hanny Copia of Gen. Santos City, and Corazon Agatep of the Agatep Group of Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
Kelvyn John M. Que of Bani, Pangasinan, who supplied illegal fuels to Figueroa, is also facing criminal charges.
Petron also filed similar complaints versus Nancy Chan of Tarlac City, Tarlac, Constante Oandasan and wife Marissa of Magsingal, Ilocos Sur.
If found guilty, each respondent faces imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to P200,000.
The station dealers had been subjected to surveillance, which showed they received deliveries from other sources. Laboratory tests conducted on seized fuels also showed they did not meet Petron's and the Department of Energy's product specifications and standards.
Petron said it has already removed all equipment, branding materials and stopped deliveries to the 8 dealer-owned stations to stop them from cheating customers.
The company said it will appoint new dealers to ensure the continuity of supply in the affected areas.
"We will continue to closely monitor our retail network to stop this illegal activity. Let this serve as a warning to those unscrupulous businessmen. We will not tolerate dumping in Petron stations," Petron said.
Petron has terminated the contracts of over 30 service station dealers for dumping activities since 2013.