The Bayan Muna group warned Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi not to go on with plans of purchasing the P2.8 billion shares of tycoon Dennis Uy at the Malampaya consortium, and cautioned the official will be held accountable to the public about the supposed ‘risky investment.’
According to Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, buying shares in the Malampaya consortium can be considered a ‘senseless waste of public funds,’ in the wake of the huge financial crisis the country is facing due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Sec Cusi should oppose such buyout considering the government claim that we have a funding crisis. We warn Sec. Cusi not to waste government funds on risky investments in the midst of the pandemic as this will make him accountable for such loss,” Colmenares said in a statement.
A published newspaper article revealed the DOE’s plan to buy 10 of the 45 percent shares of Uy in Malampaya worth P2.8 billion, which Cusi claimed is a huge investment earning for the government.
But Colmenares doubts if investing is really the intension of the government in buying the shares of Uy, who, according to the Bayan official, is just being bailed out by the administration from the number of creditors running after him.
Colmenares even cited the June 30, 2020 ultimatum given by BDO to Uy in resolving the debt equity ratio of his P6 billion loan in 2017 and P300 million loan from 2014. The figures are apart from Uy’s P1.9 billion loan from Landbank, P25 billion loan from the Bank of China, and another one from the Philippine National Bank.
“While government is burying us in debt and discontinuing important projects to realign funds for the COVID response, the DOE is investing public funds in a questionable investment by Dennis Uy, who is reportedly being asked by his creditors to pay off his overdue obligations. If this is intended to help alleviate Uy’s cash strapped predicament, then this is certainly a misuse of public funds for Malacañang’s favored friends” Colmenares said.
Colmenares added that Cusi should inhibit himself in various transactions involving Uy’s companies, citing that in 2017 the Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp (CLC) of Uy bought the Starlite Ferries Inc. owned by the family of Cusi.
“Considering that Sec. Cusi previously sold Uy his shipping line, then he should inhibit himself from deciding on that transaction as his relationship with Uy is essentially conflicted,” Colmenares said.
Last March 2020, the Udenna Corporation of Uy completed the purchase of 45 percent shares of Chevron Philippines in the Malampaya Natural Gas Project, whose sales worth was not even made in public.
At present, Malampaya is being operated by Shell Philippines Exploration, Philippine National Oil Corporation-Exploration Corporation, and Udenna Corp. Malampaya Philippines of Uy.
Located in Palawan, Malampaya supplies 30 percent of the national electricity demand and likewise supplies electricity to five power plants in Luzon.