DOTC chief brushes off oil smuggling allegations vs Oban


DOTC Secretary Joseph E.A. Abaya INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio “Jun” Abaya has brushed off as “part of public service” recent allegations that several of his key officials are involved in widespread oil smuggling.

This comes amid reports that former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Eduardo Oban Jr., who was recently appointed an Undersecretary at the Department of Transportation and Communications, had helped local oil firms smuggle billions of pesos worth of fuel into the country.

Oban is currently on leave from the DOTC, which started April 1 and will last six months.

“There was no talk of smuggling when he went on leave. There is nothing to investigate in DOTC,” Abaya said in a text message when sought for comment.

Abaya likewise said there were no “differences in policy or management style” that would have prompted Oban to go on leave. Oban did not specify his reason for going on leave.

Abaya said Oban had called, asking where allegations that linked him to smuggling had come from. Abaya said his reply was: “I said I guess it is all part of public service.”

Oban was named undersecretary last November to handle DOTC’s day-to-day operations. He replaced Rafael Santos, who, prior to joining the DOTC, was also an undersecretary at the Department of National Defense.

A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, Oban also holds a degree in Business Economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific. Oban was the third Chief of Staff to come from the Air Force since 1996. He also played a major role in the negotiation with Magdalo rebels involved in the Oakwood mutiny in 2003.

Oban was named AFP Chief of Staff in March 2011, but left in November of the same year after reaching the mandatory retirement age.

Ramon S. Ang, head of the country’s biggest oil refiner and retailer Petron Corp., had said the government loses as much as P40 billion a year in foregone tax revenues due to the rampant smuggling of petroleum products.

These smuggled goods, he said, are likely bought from neighboring countries like Indonesia where fuel is subsidized by the government before being brought into the country through special economic zones.

Prior to joining the DOTC, Oban was head of the Clark Development Corp., which manages the landlocked Clark Freeport.

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  • ting0508

    If there is proof then Oban should be investigated. Nobody is spared if and when there is a strong proof.

  • $14334231

    6 months leave of absence?….could it be that strategy is being planned and calling foreign banks on how to hide the you know what somewhere in, perhaps, the Cayman islands or the Dominican republic or Switzerland where depositors are held secret?…..just a hunch….so many got rich working for the government and very few were found guilty,….if there is a connection here, will it be pursued by the government to the hilt, or just turn around and look the other way, which in almost all cases, is the modus operandi……

  • superpilipinas

    Yan ang problema dahil walang FOI…..NO TRANSPARENCY…..

    Kanya-kanyang taguan ng ninakaw.

    Ayaw ni Aquino i-prioritize ang FOI dahil alam niya na maraming kalokohan ang dapat itago.

    Don’t vote for Team PNoy. Ayaw ng transparency which is key to good governance. We will continue to have these problems. They are just as bad as UNA, LP, NP, NPC, Lakas, Kampi, PRP, PMP, etc….

    Vote new people and new parties with good principles and proven achievements. I


    WHERE there is “smoke”, there is OIL.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    Abaya could have handled the allegations against Oban differently, instead of just summarily dismissing them. He could have just issued “no comment”. Abaya’s own involvement, passive or active, in the rigging of car plates and stickers bid is now coming under closer media scrutiny. Abaya may not be at fault for inheriting the huge backlog of car plates and stickers (the distinction rightly belongs to Mar Roxas, the former DOTC chief), but Abaya has deliberately turned a blind eye on the anomalous contracts handed out. Very soon, Abaya will be awarding PPPs to the administration allies such as the Lopezes and Mr. Pangilinan.

    Maraming kalokohan itong si Abaya, despite his claim of having good breeding. Corruption is not good breeding Mr. Abaya.

    • les21reago

      Oban and Abaya are birds of the same UNIFORM…the reason of of summarily dismissing the subject outright…

      • Weder-Weder Lang

        Kaya naman pala, angry birdies of the same feather.

  • mamer2

    Why has U-Sec Eduardo Oban Jr. been given such a long period of suspension.?
    Does this “long-suspension” mean that the possibility of “wrong-doing” is Very-High..?
    Where would these alleged OIL smugglers get their source of supply to smuggle…?

  • mangpepe

    imbestigahan muna bago mo ipagtanggol ang aga naman

  • speaksoftlylove

    Verify if Oban will be traveling to another country during his six months leave. nvestigate what country is he going and veify his transactions abroad should there’ll be any. Who knows Oban is just one of thse willing baqmen.

  • disqusted0fu

    Let’s be honest… There is no way that smuggling these days could become this bad if some officials weren’t involved in it. Let’s all remember the 2000 container vans… How can 2000 container vans possibly disappear without officials knowing where it went??? Very powerful and influential people have to be involved in this.

    • RHumabon

      The former BOC Commissioner Angelito Alvarez, months before
      leaving office, had filed smuggling charges and banned the following firms from
      transacting business at the BOC: 1). Sea Eagle Trdg, 2). LCN Trdg, 3).
      Moncelian Enterprises. . . Also charged are licensed Customs Brokers 4). Ms. Araceli Arellano, 5). Ms. Merlyn
      Reyes, 6). Thru 14). Diosdago Bagon and 8 of his employees. . .15). thru 28).
      14 Customs Officials were also charged administratively – in the disappearance of
      1910 CONTAINER VANS which resulted in P240M in revenue loss (Source:
      Philstar). . . . . Perhaps what’s needed to stop the P30B-P40B a year revenue lost to oil smuggling and other anomalies at the BOC is to re-hire Alvarez or somebody of his caliber.

  • $14334231

    hindi kumita nung nasa air force…..ngayon humahabol sa mga nauna na sa kanya na nangurakot…..mahirinan sana ang lahat na pinapakain mo sa mga binili mong pagkain galing sa kurakot mo…baka naman ito si abaya ay kasabwat din…magkatabi lang yata ang opisina nila…..heto ngayon, pag may nabilaukan sa isa sa mga mahal n’yo sa buhay, pati mga peyon ninyo, tama ang hinala ko

  • JasonBieber

    That’s how PNoy and his entire Administration works. If there are problems brush them off and deny and blame others and if at all possible point the blame at GMA then create some survey that shows PNoy’s ratings are still high.

  • noyab

    malaki ang contributon ni purisima and abaya kaya ideny nila yan dahil di sila makakabawi ng nagastos nila sa campaign ni noytard…..

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