Gasoline dealers pursue suit vs Chevron for unfair competition

By: Christine O. Avendaño, June 23rd, 2013 08:53 PM

MANILA, Philippines — Gasoline dealers have asked the Department of Justice (DOJ) to overturn the dismissal by a Makati prosecutor of its complaint against petroleum giant Chevron Philippines Inc., which it accused of unfairly competing with them by operating its own gasoline stations from 2003 to 2009.

The Petroleum Distributors and Services Corp. (PDSC) filed a petition in the DOJ on June 7 seeking a review of a resolution and subsequent order dated Feb. 5 and May 15, respectively, issued by a Makati City prosecutor dismissing the PDSC’s case against Chevron for “insufficiency of evidence.”

Chevron markets Caltex fuels in the Philippines.

The PDSC filed a complaint on Oct. 3, 2012 against the then members and officers of the board of directors of Caltex Philippines Inc. (now Chevron) for violation of the Revised Penal Code involving monopolies and combinations in restraint of trade.

PDSC was once a dealer of Chevron and had operated a company-owned retailer-operated Caltex gasoline station at the Park ’n Fly complex, MIA corner Domestic roads, Pasay City. Since 2008, it has operated a PTT station.

PDSC’s case against Chevron stemmed from the move of the latter’s sister company, Chevron Services Philippines Inc., to open in 2003 company-owned company-operated (COCO) Caltex gasoline stations  and engage in selling Caltex products, particularly fuel and lubricants, “like an ordinary Caltex dealer.”

Chevron Services opened 24 COCOs within Metro Manila, some of them closing shop in 2005 and the last in 2009.

In its 18-page petition for review, PDSC said the COCOs were “wholly owned and operated by Chevron Services, a company that has the same stockholders and practically the same directors and officers as Chevron, the so-called supplier.”

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