The Senate committee on energy’s resolution to pursue administrative and criminal liability against Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi and several more department personnel for allegedly fast-tracking the sale of most of the Malampata gas field shares, has been sent to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Last year complaints were filed against Cusi and Udenna Corp. Chairman Dennis Uy over the questionable sale of Malampaya shares.
According to Eduardo Mañalac, former president of state-run Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), billions of pesos were essentially lost to Uy’s company because was allowed to purchase a 45% stake in the project.
This was allegedly orchestrated through intentional oversight and “railroading” from Cusi as well as other DOE officials, making it so that Uy could easily buy the shares.
In a privilege speech, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian took Cusi and the DOE personnel involved to task, by stating that they are “criminally and administratively liable for graft, gross neglect of duty, and grave misconduct” for their scheme.
By raising the resolution to the Ombudsman, Gatchalian said that the accused will have the opportunity to defend themselves at the proper venue.
While the DOE has continued to insist that the transaction was legitimate and not a plot of any sort, Cusi himself has not issued a comment on the recent resolution.
Throughout the controversy, Cusi has defended his innocence, and even referred to the inquiry and charges as harassment on his part.