Udenna Corp's Malampaya a foreign-owned firm, says retired SC Justice Carpio

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 30 2021 09:59 AM | Updated as of Nov 30 2021 10:23 AM

Malampaya gas project. Shell Philippines Exploration BV, Handout
Malampaya gas project. Shell Philippines Exploration BV, Handout

MANILA - The company that bought majority of shares in the Malampaya gas project is foreign-owned, retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio said Tuesday.

Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation had purchased Chevron’s 45 percent share for $565 million, and Shell’s 45 percent stake for $460 million, for a total of $1.025 billion or roughly P51.77 billion. 

UC Malampaya is a Singapore company, according to Carpio. This violates the constitutional provision that states natural resources can only be exploited by Filipinos and that Filipinos must hold a 60 percent share in joint ventures, he said.

"There's one problem there because UC Malampaya that’s a Singaporean company is the actual buyer. I thought before UC Malampaya was owned by Dennis Uy. It turns out UC Malampaya Singapore is foreign-owned," he told ANC's Headstart.

"So it was a foreign company, a foreign buyer that bought the shares of Shell and Chevron...The Malampaya company that's operating is now majority-controlled by a foreign company based on documents presented to the Senate so that will now violate the Constitution."

Chevron and Shell are 90-percent foreign-owned but their contracts were signed prior to the 1987 Constitution, according to the retired justice.

"Any new entity buyer will have to follow the new Constitution now," he said.

The Senate committee on energy should release its report on its investigation into the Malampaya deals so that "any citizen can file a case," Carpio said.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Udennna Corp chairman and CEO Dennis Uy are facing a graft complaint before the Ombudsman over Udenna’s acquisition of 90 percent of Malampaya. 

Uy, a businessman from Davao City and a close friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, earlier denied that he was a "crony" of the latter.

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