March 7, 2011
Youth group Anakbayan today joined other groups in calling for the resignation of Energy Secretary Rene Almendras, while dismissing those who defended the latter as ‘sympathetic to their fellow incompetent’.
“Yet again, Almendras and the rest of the pro-oil cartel Aquino administration is missing the point: the issue is not about the oil supply or oil subsidies” said Anakbayan chairperson Vencer Crisostomo.
“The point here is that even before the Middle East crisis, local pump prices are overpriced. The political turmoil, first in Egypt, then in Libya, is merely being used as a cover-up for the overpricing” said the youth leader.
At the start of the year, umbrella group BAYAN released a study which showed petroelum products sold locally are overpriced by an average of P5.72 per liter at the end of 2010. Recently, Senator Ralph Recto also echoed the accusation of overpricing, saying the rate was at P0.30 to P0.55 per liter.
“The Libyan crisis is being used to justify, not just the recent series of oil price hikes, but the hikes in general as well” added Crisostomo, citing the two increases last week, the 12th in 13 weeks.
He however dismissed them, noting that the oil companies themselves have said that most of our oil supply comes from countries such as Saudi Arabia, not Libya.
Meanwhile, the militant group of young workers, professionals, and students hinted that Almendras isn’t the ‘only one who should resign for being the oil firm’s puppet’.
“Those who keep such an anti-people and pro-oil cartel gov’t official in power should be held equally liable for the non-action of the administration in protecting the interests of the ordinary Filipino” said Crisostomo.