Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said the Senate may request the Commission on Audit (COA) to do a full “fraud audit” on the Department of Energy (DOE) and attached agency Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) for the controversies surrounding the sale of the Malampaya gas project.
Speaking at an online forum recently, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy said that the upper house of Congress would have to look at the scope of the fraud audit. Gatchalian added that he wants to make sure that the objective is clear and that the COA knows what to look at.
PNOC, through subsidiary PNOC-Exploration Corporation, owns ten percent of Malampaya on behalf of the government.
The senator had said that the DOE’s decision to approve the sale of Chevron’s 45% stake in Malampaya to Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation is “defective and invalid.” The lawmaker also raised a “red flag” on Udenna’s purchase of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.’s 45% share.
Three “concerned citizens” have also filed graft charges against Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi, Uy, and 24 others before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the Davao-based firm’s acquisition of Malampaya.