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PIA Press Release
2007/04/13

Update on Pandacan oil depot

BAGUIO CITY (13 April) -- The Supreme Court found itself tackling the contentious issue of relocating of the Pandacan oil depot in the City of Manila in its first hearing in this summer capital.

In a hearing that started at around 2:15 pm with Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno and Associate Justices Angelina Sandoval – Gutierrez, Renato C. Corona, Adolfo B. Ascuna and Cancio C. Garcia, the country’s three major oil companies argued that a terrorist attack or an accident on the Pandacan oil depot would not endanger the thickly populated area of Manila because of top security and safety measures adopted in the area.

Lawyer Luis Vera Cruz, counsel for Petron, Shell and Chevron cited legal impediments to the enforcement of Manila City Ordinance 8027 that ordered the removal of the depots of three oil companies from Pandacan

Cruz and the Office of the Solicitor General batted for oil depot’s retention at Pandacan following a decision after the Supreme Court decided in March 7 that the Manila city government must enforce ordinance No. 8027 that asked for the removal of the oil terminal.

But Social Justice Society lawyer Samson Alcantara and Manila City Legal Counsel Melchor Monsod, on the other hand, explained that the depots are not only prone to terrorists attacks but also pose danger to human lives as they cause pollution in the area.

“Issues on losing of jobs, dislocation, increase in oil price, these are old songs, song must end we must execute judicial laws. Now is the time for us to solve the problem, we should implement the ordinance”, Alcantara said.

It was pointed out that the Philippines is the only country where you can find an oil depot near a presidential palace and this primarily pose danger to the administration.

Scaling down of the numbers of gasoline tanks in the depot is not the answer to the problem, total relocation must be implemented, Monson said.

He also cited the area in Makati which Meralco used as its depot was turned into a commercial area. This could also be done for the Pandacan oil depot, Monsod said.

Due to lack of some pertinent documents, Associate Justice Angelina Sandoval-Gutierrez adjourned the hearing at around 5:10 pm, and she ordered both parties to submit their memoranda to the Supreme Court within ten (10) days. (PIA-CAR) [top]

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