Petron Corp., the country’s leading oil company, has continued its campaign against “dumping” as it cut ties with five more erring service station dealers in the first quarter of 2016.
The oil company discovered that these dealers were “dumping,” or acquiring fuels from other sources and then passing them off to consumers as Petron-branded products.
“Dumping” is a form of unfair competition punishable under the Intellectual Property
Code of the Philippines or RA 8293. It is considered a direct result of oil smuggling, which encourages the proliferation of sub-standard fuels that do not meet Philippine National Standards.
If found guilty, each respondent faces imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to P200,000 for violating Sections 168.2 and 168.3 of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.
Petron ended the dealer contracts of Benjamin Morgado (Brgy. Balayan, Victoria, Tarlac), Florante Soriquez (Brgy. San Miguel, Taguig City), Jesus Durano (Danao City, Cebu), Ivan Herrero (Tanjay, Negros Oriental), and Ferdinand Custodio (General Trias, Cavite). Four of these dealers are now facing criminal complaints.
According to Petron, the company exerts earnest efforts to closely monitor its station network to protect the integrity of its products and promote the welfare of consumers against illegal activities.
Cases against Morgado and Soriquez are now pending with the Prosecutor’s Office of Tarlac and Taguig, respectively, while the case against Custodio is pending with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila which issued the search warrant against him. The Office of the City Prosecutor of Tanjay City has found probable cause to indict Herrero for the crime of unfair competition. Meanwhile, a new criminal complaint has been filed before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Cebu against Durano.
Petron has also pulled out all its equipment, branding materials, and ceased deliveries to the five stations owned by the accused dealers.
The oil company noted the number of erring dealers caught dumping has significantly gone down over the last few years as a result of its campaign.
In 2014, 20 dealer contracts were terminated, followed by another eight in 2015 due to dumping complaints.
Petron also filed criminal charges against Manuel Palisoc of San Carlos, Pangasinan, a tank truck driver caught in the act of “dumping.” The case is pending before the RTC of San Carlos, Pangasinan.
“We have been a trusted Filipino brand for more than 80 years and have built this trust by promoting the welfare of our customers. Customers expect world-class quality fuels when they gas up at our stations and they deserve nothing less,” Petron said.
“We will remain vigilant since we don’t tolerate any illegal activity at our stations,” it added.