NBI raids lawmaker’s LPG refilling station
A liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) refilling station in Calamba, Laguna, allegedly owned by the wife of Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers’ Association (LPGMA) party-list Rep. Arnel Ty was raided by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) based on a search warrant issued by a local court.
Head agent Rommel Vallejo said defective LPG gas tanks and tools for illegal refilling of LPG were found inside Suncrest Gas Corp., owned by Marie Antoinette Ty and located along Pamplona St., Cuervo 2 Subdivision, in Laguna.
Vallejo said Suncrest employees were caught during the raid in the act of repainting the LPG cylinders of other brands and labeling them as Republic Gas Corp (Regasco) owned by the Tys.
The raid stemmed from a complaint filed by a giant oil refiner-distributor.
Petron and Shell earlier filed an infringement case against Ty, his wife and other members of the board of Regasco.
An 11-kilo LPG cylinder of Regasco costs P500 or at least P60 lower than other brands.
This was not the first time the Tys were accused of the same offense.
In 2005, the NBI filed cases against Arnel Ty and four directors of Omni Gas Corp. (OGC) for unauthorized refilling and “underfilling” of LPG tanks.
The case stemmed from the complaint filed by the Shellane Dealers Association Inc., Petron Gasul Dealers Association Inc. and Totalgaz Dealers Association Inc. with the NBI on March 22, 2004, accusing OGC of illegally refilling their LPG tanks.
Acting on the complaint, NBI agent Marvin de Jemil led a test-buy operation by bringing eight empty LPG tanks owned by the complainants to OGC’s refilling station in Pasig City.
After having them refilled, De Jemil found out that one of the steel containers weighed less than the average LPG tanks, indicating that OGC could be engaged in underfilling of LPG tanks.
The NBI then conducted a raid on OGC’s warehouse and subsequently filed a case for violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 33, which penalizes unauthorized refilling of LPG tanks, as amended by Presidential Decree No. 1865.
On Nov. 7, 2005, then Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño approved the resolution of Manila 3rd Assistant City Prosecutor Leandro Catalo finding probable cause to charge Ty et al. Named respondents in the case were Ty as OGC president and Marie Antonette Ty, Jason Ong, Willy Dy and Alvin Ty as directors.
In December 2010, the Supreme Court approved the filing of criminal cases against them and struck down the petition of Ty and the four OGC directors seeking to nullify the case filed against them by the NBI in 2005. Nancy C. Carvajal with Inquirer Research
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