Latest Stories


Blowing the lid off oil smuggling


I nearly fell off my chair at the breakfast table on Wednesday when I read that Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. practically confirmed the story on the rampant smuggling of petroleum products.

Ramon S. Ang, chair and chief executive officer of the biggest oil refiner Petron Corp., had complained that about one in every three liters of gasoline or diesel in the country is smuggled.

Shell, a Dutch company which is the second biggest fuel provider, appears to be the No. 1 smuggler of fuel products in the country, based on records at the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The records show that Shell owes the government P7.348 billion, representing excise taxes and value added taxes.

The amount covered 63 shipments by Shell of petroleum products which the company allegedly misdeclared as catalytic cracked gasoline (CCG), which are not subject to excise taxes, according to BOC records.

Because of the misdeclaration, which many call technical smuggling, the customs bureau has demanded from Shell a total of P7.348 billion for its 63 shipments from 2004 to 2009.

Until now Shell continues to stall in the payment of what it owes the BOC.

* * *

“There are schemes where volume and value are grossly understated resulting in very small tax payments,” said Edgar Chua, country manager of Pilipinas Shell.

How ironic Chua should say that!

There’s a Filipino saying that goes “Ang isda ay nahuhuli sa bibig (A fish is caught by its mouth).”

* * *

A former chief of the Philippine Navy says that if called, he would testify for the six Navy officers and enlisted men who are charged with murdering a fellow officer aboard BRP Bacolod City in 1995.

Retired Adm. Ferdinand Golez says Ensign Philip Pestaño committed suicide.

Three of the officers are graduates of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA); another is from the US Coast Guard Academy.

The six accused Navy personnel are detained at the Marines barracks in Fort Bonifacio.

There were 50 officers and men aboard BRP Bacolod City at that time.

“Not one of them says Pestaño was murdered,” said Golez, who retired three years ago. “Nobody can keep a secret in a small ship for long. One or two would have squealed if a murder was committed.”

One is dumbfounded why the Navy, which knows that the men are innocent, has not officially stood behind them.

* * *

A reporter of the GMA television news department has complained to this columnist of harassment from a superior.

The reporter, whose identity I’m withholding for now, says he would expose the “sins” of some of the network’s bigwigs if he is fired for no reason.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bureau of Customs , Ensign Philip Pestaño , GMA television , Oil Smuggling , petroleum products , Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp , Retired Adm. Ferdinand Golez , Smuggling

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Obama, family cause a small stir at Easter service
  • Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  • Ancient enigmatic carvings in danger of disappearing
  • Tagle: Hope comes with warning on Easter
  • New plant to boost supply of clean energy
  • Sports

  • Goodbye MGM, Las Vegas for Pacquiao?
  • Rain or Shine drops Ginebra in big hole
  • Ateneo whips CSB; Davao debuts with win over FEU
  • PH pug Hipolito Banal decisions Colombian in Aiba
  • Former Pacquiao sparmate Porter keeps IBF title
  • Lifestyle

  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Entertainment

  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace