Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and businessman Dennis Uy are facing graft charges over the allegedly anomalous sale of shares of the Malampaya gas-to-power project.
The complainants, Balgamel de Belen Domingo and Rodel Rodis and Loida Nicolas Lewis – both based in the United States, filed the complaint with the Ombudsman in Iloilo City through their lawyer Rico Domingo.
Eduardo Mañalac, former president of state-run Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), said the government effectively forfeited billions of pesos in profits when it allowed Uy’s Udenna to buy a 45 percent stake in the project from oil giant Chevron in service contract 38 or the Malampaya gas field in 2019.
Aside from Uy, included in the complaint were former and current officials of PNOC-Exploration Corp. (PNOC-EC) as well as officials of Chevron Philippines.
The complainants claimed Cusi and the other respondents conspired to give “unwarranted benefits and advantage” to Uy’s Udenna Corp. and its subsidiary, UC Malampaya, in the sale of Chevron’s share and transfer of rights in the Malampaya project.
Cusi, for his part, said he is ready to answer the charges leveled against him.
“I have no doubt the truth will vindicate me and the innocent people dragged into this purported action obviously filed for the singular purpose of political propaganda,” the Energy chief said.
“Those who reportedly filed this unwarranted action want to present themselves as patriots when the truth is they are not even residing in the country. They would want to dictate government policy while living comfortably abroad. I say let them come here, so they can be within reach of our justice system when we get to establish that they are guilty of perjury,” he added.
“Clearly, this is harassment, but it comes with the territory, so we will just address it at the proper forum where it was filed,” Cusi said.