MARIVELES, Bataan: The Bataan district customs collector on Tuesday denied the presence of oil smuggling in Limay town, challenging those hurling accusations, one of which is Shell, to come up with specifics.
Lawyer Elvira Cruz, Bureau of Customs (BOC) collector of the Port of Lamao in Limay, emphasized that the port was not an entry point of smuggling but merely a possible entry point. “Smuggling is not allowed in this port,” she said emphatically.
She said that Petron is the only importer of petroleum products in Limay and ships in gas oil, crude oil, mogas, ethanol and asphalt. It has an oil refinery, reportedly the biggest in the country, in Brgy. Alangan in Limay
“If there is smuggling in Limay, it is tantamount to saying that Petron is doing that, so let Ramon Ang answer that, not us,” Cruz said.
Ang is Petron’s chairman and chief executive officer.
On Shell’s allegation of oil smuggling in Bataan and Subic, Cruz said “simply because their sales went down, they came up with the smuggling story. It is not the BOC’s fault. Why blame us?”
She challenged Edgar Chua to come up with specifics.
“Any one accusing us of smuggling should come and tell us how it is done. Perhaps Shell sees things that we don’t and can help us,” Cruz said.
She said that they are doing their best to curb smuggling. One of the safeguards against smuggling is the Load Port Survey that she said is accredited by the Bureau of Customs and internationally.
“Before a ship docks, our people have already inspected it at mid-sea,” the Customs collector said.