Another lawyers group assails transfer of Malampaya stakes to Udenna Corp.

Published November 29, 2021, 12:36 PM

by Jeffrey Damicog

Philippine Bar Association

Another lawyers group has joined calls for the revocation of the transfer of the stakes at the Malampaya Deepwater Gas-to-Power Project to the subsidiaries of Udenna Corp., a firm controlled by Dennis Uy who is a known friend of President Duterte.

“We call on the DOE (Department of Energy) to put National interest first, and attend to the matters that became the convenient premise for this questionable transfer,” the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) said in a statement.

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) had earlier expressed its opposition to the moves that allowed Chevron Malampaya LLC and Shell Philippines Exploration BV (SPEX) to transfer each of their 45 percent stakes to Udenna subsidiaries.

The PBA said “the Original Operators have run Malampaya competently for decades the public interest is better served by letting them continue rather than transferring the facility to an entity that presents significant security risks.”

It pointed out that the Malampaya facility is “a crown jewel of the country’s Energy infrastructure” and “contributes more than 40 percent of the power of Luzon.”

“It is a facility that sits right smack in an area that has grave national security implications,” it stressed.

Since the government has “not been shy in applying a militarized pandemic approach against ordinary citizens,” the PBA said such mindset should have been “more suited in guarding a precious national asset.”

“That it ended up the hands of an entity that is not technically or financially sound is beyond negligent, it is criminal,” it declared.

It then urged the Senate to continue scrutinizing the transfer of the Malampaya stakes and the Office of the Ombudsman to act immediately on the complaints filed before it.