LPG firm cleared of underfilling tanks

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THE Court of Appeals (CA) has exonerated a company and its officers for underfilling of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) products.

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In a ruling penned by Associate Justice Eduardo Peralta Jr. and concurred in by Associate Justices Noel Tijam and Francisco Acosta, the CA’s Fourth Division dismissed an appeal filed by Petron Gasul Dealers Association and Total Gaz Dealers Association.

Records showed that two criminal complaints were initiated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against private respondents-appellees Arnel Uy, Mari Antonettee Ty, Jason Ong, Willy Dy and Alvin Ty of Republic Gas Corporation (Regasco) before the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging that their LPG tanks were found to be underfilled.

State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas found probable cause against the respondents.

DOJ Undersecretary Ernesto Pineda, however, reversed Torrevilla’s ruling in July 2009 as he directed the withdrawal of Informations against Uy and the other respondents.

Petitioner-appellants’ motion for reconsideration was dismissed, prompting them to seek redress with the appellate court.

In its ruling, the court held that the Justice department was right when it reversed Torrevilla’s resolution.

“Appellants could have presented the inspection report to substantiate the actual weights of the LPG cylinders, which were allegedly illegally refilled by private respondent-appellees at the earliest opportunity, that is, during the preliminary investigation,” it said.

The appellate court, however, pointed out that “per the record on file, it appeared that appellants failed to do so.”

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