Cusi drops libel charges over Malampaya sale


Outgoing Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi withdrew the libel cases filed against seven news organizations in November in connection with the sale of the Malampaya Gas Field to Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation. 

In a statement to the Media, the Department of Energy (DOE) said that Cusi has executed an affidavit of desistance with the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office on Friday. 

“Despite the hurt feelings and damage done to my name, a deeper reflection on what has transpired has led to the realization that the many interactions with the respondents have undeniably resulted in the forging of valued friendships and professional relationships. The filing of cases was precisely brought about by the hurt feelings from unverified actions or words,” Cusi said in a statement. 

In November 2021, Cusi filed libel charges against BusinessMirror, BusinessWorld, and Rappler while cyber libel charges were filed against, GMA News Online, Manila Bulletin, as well as BusinessMirror and BusinessWorld for “false statements” regarding the sale of the Malampaya. 

“In the interest of preserving what can be saved these valued relationships, I am therefore executing this affidavit of desistance to move forward from the unfortunate events by sparing everyone from the rigors of prosecuting and defending criminal cases.” Cusi said. 

Cusi will step down as Energy Secretary on June 30 – the end of the Duterte Administration. 

Numerous questions have been raised over Udenna’s Malampaya acquisitions, specifically with regard to its financial and technical capability. 

In the latest developments, Enrique Razon-led Prime Infra Holdings said it is poised to acquire a controlling stake in Malampaya.