Aquino regime more interested in oil profits than people’s welfare — CPP

"The Aquino government reveals a myopic view of its avowed role as a protector of the people… It is clearly acting as the protector of the oil cartel." — Communist Party of the Philippines

By CPP Information Bureau

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) today said the refusal of the Aquino regime to review and repeal the Oil Deregulation Law and undertake substantial measures to impose regulations amid spiralling prices of petroleum products shows that it is more interested in ensuring super-profit earnings of big foreign oil companies than protecting the socio-economic welfare of the people.

"For more than one decade now, big foreign oil companies have fully exploited the Oil Deregulation Law by relentlessly raising the retail prices of diesel and other petroleum products to rake in superprofits in complete disregard of its grave impact on the people's daily lives," said the CPP.

"Clearly, the Oil Deregulation Law has failed in its declared objective of setting the stage for competition in the oil retail industry," pointed out the CPP. "It has succeeded only in giving the big foreign oil companies free rein to pocket superprofits and rob the Filipino people of their hard-earned income."

"There can be no competition in an industry that is under the control of a cartel, from production to distribution," said the CPP. "The international oil cartel has been in existence since the early 1900s. The enactment of the Oil Deregulation Law in 1997 to supposedly spur competition and reduce prices is one of the biggest swindles in Philippine history."

"The Filipino people have been clamoring for the repeal of the Oil Deregulation Law," added the CPP. "The Aquino government, however, has shown no interest in heeding the people's cries."

"The Aquino regime justifies its refusal to repeal the Oil Deregulation Law and regulate prices by claiming it will cost a lot for the government to subsidize the prices of oil products. This reveals a myopic view of its avowed role as a protector of the people," said the CPP. "Instead, it is clearly acting as the protector of the oil cartel."

"The people's demand to regulate oil prices does not call for subsidizing the profits of oil companies," pointed out the CPP. "The people demand that oil companies be made to carry the burden of reduced profits through controls in the retail prices of its products."

"Such regulatory measures, however, are only short-term at best. The strategic solution to the problem of skyrocketting oil prices is to break the control of foreign oil companies in the importation, refining and distribution of petroleum products and nationalize both the upstream and downstream oil industry," said the CPP.

"In line with this principle, the people demand the nationalization of the acquisition of oil resources, which may include forging deals with countries willing to sell lower priced crude. They also demand that production from local oil wells and other energy sources be nationalized. They demand the setting up of a national oil company that will effect the distribution of oil products at lower subsidized prices," said the CPP.

"The Filipino people's demand for the nationalization of the oil industry will be among the crucial issues to be raised by the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) in negotiating the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER) with the Philippine government," said the CPP.