Senator Risa Hontiveros said President Rodrigo Duterte’s support for Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi and other Department of Energy (DOE) officials over the alleged questionable approval of the Udenna-Chevron deal on the sale of a majority stake in the Malampaya gas field was not surprising but still “unacceptable.”
The Senate resolution which sought to file administrative and criminal charges against Cusi and 11 other energy officials was transmitted Friday to the Office of the Ombudsman Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chair of the Senate committee on energy.
The resolution showed that the charges were in relation to the sale of the 45 percent stake of Chevron Malampaya LLC in the Malampaya gas field worth $565-million to UC Malampaya.
In a virtual press conference, Hontiveros aired her supported go the findings of the Senate energy committee that the DOE officials violated Presidential Decree No. 87 and its own department circular.
“On all counts, Secretary Cusi was not only negligent but he also violated their own department order,” she said.
Last Friday, Duterte he viewed with grave concern an apparent effort at the Senate to put in bad light recent developments involving the Malampaya gas field.
“This casts undue, undeserved, and unwarranted aspersion on the part of some of our key government officials. This is grossly unfair to them and to the public,” he also said is a statement.
Hontiveros assailed Duterte’s statement, saying the Malampaya deal was done “under the cover of darkness.”
The re-elections senator said she is one of the senators who actively participated in the series of Senate energy committee investigations that stemmed from Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Malampaya Philippines Pte. Ltd. buyout of Chevron Philippines’ stake in the offshore gas field in Palawan in 2020. It has since been renamed UC MPPL or UC Malampaya.
Recently, the Udenna Corporation maintained that there was no transfer ofmrights or obligations in the Udenna-Chevron deal on the sale of Malampaya Consortium shares.
The DOE has also maintained that the Malampaya sale to the Udenna subsidiary is “above board.”
During a Senate Energy Committee hearing in September last year, DOE officials affirmed the financial soundness and legality of the $565-million transaction between UC Malampaya and Chevron deal that transferred 45 percent stake in the Malampaya Energy project to the Udenna Group of Davao businessman Dennis Uy.
“When the DOE stretched the application of DC 2007 it affected, among others, the evaluation of our Financial Services. Based on the memorandum we submitted, you will find that there were two entities evaluated: UC 38 which is the new name of Chevron, and of course UC Malampaya,” DOE Energy Resource Development Bureau Director Cesar de la Fuente said.
Aside from Cusi, among those being called to be held accountable are Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos, OIC Undersecretary Robert B. Uy, Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza Jr., Assistant Secretary Leonido J. Pulido III, Director Cesar G. Dela Fuente, Director Arthur N. Tenazas, Director Araceli A. Santos-Soluta, OIC Assistant Director Guillermo H. Ansay, Chief Thelma Cerdeña, Chief R.J.A. Delos Santos, and Mr. Demujin F. Antiporda.