The Department of Energy (DOE) said it stands firm on its approval of the sale of Chevron’s 45% stake in the Malampaya gas field to Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation.
Speaking at a virtual media briefing on Wednesday, Energy Asec. Gerardo Erguiza, Jr. stressed that there was no problem with the DOE’s approval of the deal to begin with.
“Wala hong problema [sa transaction] na ‘yun. Kung may gusto pong [ipa-rescind yung transaction], then file the necessary action and we will [respond] accordingly,” he told reporters.
Erguiza was reacting to the statements made by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) and the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) calling for the DOE to revoke the Chevron-Udenna deal. In addition, the IBP asked for the agency to “hold in abeyance” Udenna’s purchase of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V.’s 45% share.
“The DOE and its officials have been unduly maligned. We’re saddened by the uncalled [for statement of the IBP and the PBA]. We urge the IBP and the PBA that if they have any questions, they can give it to us and they believe there is any case that it is meritorious, we are welcome,” Erguiza lamented.
“Let’s settle this once and for all in the proper legal forum, [and] not in the propaganda platform,” he added.
The Energy official emphasized once again that the $565 million Chevron-Udenna deal, which the department approved in April, is a private transaction between two firms.
Erguiza, who earlier said the DOE was looking to finish reviewing the Shell-Udenna deal by November, this time said the transaction has yet to be finalized.
In a related development, Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, echoed the calls of both lawyers groups, citing faulty processes.
Based on a BusinessWorld report, Gatchalian — chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy — said the DOE has admitted committing lapses in the processing of the stake sale approval.