‘DOE must revoke transfer of Malampaya to Udenna’


The government must revoke the transfer of the Malampaya Gas Field Facility to Malampaya Energy XP Pte., a unit of Udenna Corp., as it “presents significant security risks.”

The Philippine Bar Association (PBA) has called on the government to revoke the transfer of the gas field to the group of Davao-based businessman Dennis A. Uy, an ally of President Duterte.

The oldest voluntary national organization of lawyers in the Philippines asked the Department of Energy (DOE) to intervene as Malampaya Energy, it alleged, is an “untested and unknown entity.”

“We call on the DOE to put national interest first, and attend to the matters that became the convenient premise for this questionable transfer,” the group said in a statement.

PBA said the original operators may continue running the gas field “rather than transferring the facility to an entity that presents significant security risks.”

“The government has not been shy in applying a militarized pandemic approach against ordinary citizens. That mindset would have been more suited in guarding a precious national asset,” the statement read.

PBA added that calling the transfer a private transaction, and thus “not subject to review” is “unsatisfactory.”

“It is not a simple matter of making the transaction transparent and understandable, and therefore acceptable. Malampaya is a critical piece of our national sovereignty and security. It cannot remain where it has been negligently left. The transaction requires immediate review.”

Malampaya Energy XP acquired the shares of Shell Philippines Exploration BV (SPEX), which previously led the operations and maintenance of the gas field. Philippine National Oil Co. Exploration Corp. is a member of the consortium that operates Malampaya.

Udenna Corp. owns a majority stake in Malampaya. 

“Malampaya is a crown jewel of the country’s energy infrastructure. That it ended up in the hands of an entity that is not technically or financially sound is beyond negligent, it is criminal,” the statement read.

PBA was not the only group that questioned Uy’s entry into Malampaya. Lawmakers have also looked into the transaction, questioning the financing capacity and the expertise of the company to operate and maintain the gas field.

Last week, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) called for the cancellation of Uy’s foray into Malampaya, asking the government to take over.

The DOE, in a statement on Monday, said the IBP’s “sweeping statement against the Malampaya transaction without first checking the facts and applicable laws” has “unduly maligned” the department and its officials.

“The lawyers’ organization, which is supposed to uphold and defend the law, has fallen victim to hearsay and sheer allegations,” the DOE said. “The IBP’s thoughtless involvement, allowing itself to be used by unscrupulous interest groups, greatly disappoints.”

It did not, however, address issues pertaining to the transaction, but said it will “respond to any allegation against it in the proper forum and in due time.”

Read full article on BusinessMirror

Leave a Reply