THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has affirmed the finding of probable cause for unfair competition and trademark infringement under Republic Act 8293 against LPG Marketers Association (LPGMA) party-list Rep. Arnel Ty.
In a six-page resolution signed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the DOJ found enough basis in a complaint filed by giant oil players Shell and Petron in 2004 as the motion for reconsideration they had filed was partly granted.
The case stemmed from the complaint received by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) from liquefied petroleum gas dealers that certain entities were engaged in unauthorized refilling, sale and distribution of cooking gas cylinders bearing the registered trademarks and trade names of Shell and Petron.
The Republic Gas plant in Malabon City (Metro Manila) was allegedly found to have engaged in the illegal trade, prompting the NBI to observe the company’s operation.
The NBI would discover four empty LPG cylinders bearing the trademarks of Shellane and Gasul.
The new DOJ ruling, however, dropped charges against Republic Gas officials Mari Antonette Ty, Alvin Ty, Benson P. Ng and Charlton P. Ng.
According to the DOJ, “the offense of Unfair Competition and Infringement of Trademark, which were committed by Regasco and Omnigas, cannot be imputed to the [res–pondents], there being no evidence that they participated in the commission thereof.”
Citing a jurisprudence, the department said, “[W]here law does not specify the officers who should be charged for offenses committed by a juridical entity, the rule is that only the officers of the juridical entity who participated in the commission of the offense are liable[.]”