Cordi PNP chief orders drive against gambling; 15 nabbed

>> Sunday, June 24, 2018

2 cops arrested by Camp Crame group victims of frame up? 

CAMP DANGWA, La Trinidad, Benguet -- A total of 15 jueteng bet collectors and gamblers were nabbed in Cordillera last week after Cordillera police director Chief Supt. Rolando Zambale Nana ordered his men to increase drive against illegal gambling and other crimes.
Nana urged the public to report also policemen who are accepting money or operating illegal gambling in their communities after two cops, one from the Cordillera were arrested in La Trinidad two weeks ago by members of a task force from Camp Crame for alleged involvement in illegal gambling and extortion.
Entrapped two weeks ago on complaint of a certain Ryan Abing Olsina and Jerbin Pulac Velasco who both claimed to be a collector and operator of STL in La Trinidad were SPO2 Paulino Lubos Jr. and SPO4 Gilbert Legaspi who were assigned with the Intelligence Division of the Benguet Provincial Police Office.
This, as out of the 15, six suspects were separately arrested playing games in Baguio City. A total P4,485 bet money was reportedly confiscated with several gambling paraphernalia while six cases were filed in court.
Police Station 10 cops arrested Ador Raquipo Geron, 46; Vergel Bucal Talabis, 34; Catalino Sadcoyan Adiwang, 55, in Purok 7, Barangay Dontogan.
This, while personnel of  Baguio Police Station 2 arrested Lander Fedcha, 25; Jeffrey Padilla, 28 and Justin Alejandro, 25 at No.1 Bokawkan Road. 
Confiscated during the operation was P740 bet money and gambling paraphernalia. 
The persons were also nabbed in Barangay Banacao, Bangued, Abra named as Concordia Almazan Blanes, Macrilda Dacayan Blanes and Ednalyn Belledo Bersalona.
Confiscated from them was P335 bet money as a set of playing cards.
Meanwhile, the two police officers who were nabbed were reportedly “scapegoats” in a gambling turf war as they were nabbed by a heavily-armed anti-scalawag PNP unit for allegedly extorting money from two bet collectors (kubradores) of the Small Town Lottery.
The local PCSO branch office has not admitted that complainants were PCSO employees.
Reports said those behind the arrest of the two cops and who financed the lightning operation were afraid of being eased out from STL and jueteng operations in Benguet once illegal gambling cases are filed against the bet collector and operator.
The police operatives reportedly believed the two complainants’ statement that Lubos and Legaspi allegedly demanded money from P5,000 to P40,000 from them in exchange for not filing any cases against arrested employees of the illegal operation of STL.
These statements by the complainants were reportedly made part of the police operative unit’s report to their boss, and made part of the plan to make the issue bigger and to justify their operation.   
The two arrested cops, along with their companions were reportedly driven around Baguio before they were brought to Manila where charges were filed against them, instead of bringing them to the Benguet Prosecutors Office for inquest proceedings.
In Manila, a DOJ official, after more than 200 hours since the arrest, issued a resolution indicting Lubos and Legaspi of the crime of violation of Article 294 Section 5 of the Revised Penal Code or simple robbery for the alleged amount of P3,000.
Lubos and Legaspi were reportedly illegally detained against their will even as   Prosecutor Borgy Vedana Calugay recommended in his resolution bail of P100,000 each for their provisional liberty for “robbing” P3,000.
There is reportedly no Authorized Agent Corporation (AAC) or STL operator in Benguet or the other provinces in the Cordillera Region.
However, an STL operation is collecting bets in Baguio and Benguet which is outside its operating franchise, supposedly a violation of the agreement with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
Observers said it is public knowledge that STL bet collectors are given green vests and IDs to wear to show the public a semblance of legitimacy, but STL bet collectors are the same guys who collect bets for jueteng.
Sen. Ping Lacson confirmed this in a Senate hearing last year saying jueteng bet collectors use the IDs for guerrilla operations the PCSO issued.
“It’s happening on the ground and the police know that,” said the senator, a former chief of the Philippine National Police.
Somebody in the police hierarchy is reportedly protecting jueteng and illegal STL operations fearing that it will be found out that the former has bigger collections than the latter.
The PCSO is being cheated out of an estimated P50 billion a year in its STL operations, according to Lacson.
Since STL and jueteng operations could not be controlled, there is reportedly fear among operators that both gambling operations may be removed altogether.
STL was launched by government supposedly to stamp out jueteng, an illegal numbers racket in the country.
But gambling lords instead used STL as a front for jueteng as the two games have similar mechanics. STL and jueteng involve betting on two-number combinations from 1 to 40 for the former and from 1 to 37 for the latter.
A congressional inquiry in 1990 found that franchises for STL had been awarded to the same people behind jueteng.
In Lacson’s committee hearing last year, PCSO officials blamed the PNP for supposed lack of commitment to eliminate jueteng and other forms of illegal gambling.
PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan said he was disappointed and dismayed by the performance of the police.
Balutan, a retired Marine general, said they received reports of police officials receiving payola from gambling lords in spite of Executive Order No. 13 that President Duterte signed last year.
As for PCSO, observers said it maybe allowing the illegal operations of STL and jueteng in an area outside the jurisdiction of its franchise like Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation – a company that has been accused by former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II as the competitor to STL across provinces in Luzon.
Meridien is allegedly behind the jueteng-like operations in provinces namely; Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Rizal, Cavite, Oriental Mindoro, Camarines Sur, Camarines  Norte and Albay. Not all of these provinces have STL franchises.
To be able to operate STL legally in an LGU, the PCSO-approved franchise must be accompanied by an ordinance and a memorandum of agreement.
In some LGUs, public approval through public hearings is held.
No such things were ever conducted in any municipality in Benguet, but bets are reportedly still being collected by shady characters in green vests and IDs.  


NPA hits ‘comic reasons’ of PNP in ambush, AFP lies on escaped Red girl’

SAGADA, Mountain Province – The Leonardo Pacsi Command of the New People’s Army said they were amused by “two comic reasons” of the Philippine National Police and their spokespersons for conducting combat operations in  Barangay Aguid here that resulted to a clash last June 4-5 that resulted to the killing of a cop and wounding of 11 others on the government side.
This, even as the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front assailed a story reportedly peddled by the army and PNP about a 14-year-old girl who allegedly escaped the NPA after being allegedly abused by Red cadres. 
The NPA said the PNP claimed they were “on peacekeeping mission” in Sagada and were responding to reported “extortion activities” of the rebels.
“As they were on peacekeeping mission, read as combat mission, they were fully-armed, which means that they were hunting for their prey and ready for combat. And when they were ambushed by the NPA, they cry out “Sagada is a peace zone,” said Leonardo Pacsi Command-NPA spokesperson Ka Magno Udyaw in a statement.
“So convenient for the PNP, AFP, some government officials and other reactionary elements to drumbeat ‘Sagada is a peace zone’ when in truth, they are the ones violating it. They roam around even in tourist spots in full battle gear. The true meaning of peace is peace based on social justice,” he said. “If it were true that they were responding to “extortion activities” in the area,  why only now?”
Ka Udyaw said a few months ago, extortionists were reported in Sagada, Bontoc and Bauko towns, victimizing small hotel owners, government employees and  students.
He said “no one was captured neither a serious effort to identify these perpetrators despite reports from the victims to the police. Is it because the extortionists have connections with the PNP or AFP? And by doing so denigrates the NPA while making money for themselves. Pure alibis”.
“The PNP troops were on a combat operation hoping to make a score against the NPA, with no mention of what provincial police director Senior Supt. Allen S. Ocden has done a few weeks back threatening to bomb the portals of small-scale miners and making good at confiscating piled lumber of the local residents all over the province.”
This, as Simon Naogsan Sr., spokesperson of the Cordillera People’s Democratic Front branded as “fake news, poor and lousy propaganda a story of a minor allegedly recruited as an NPA red fighter, whose incredible story is being generously and maliciously being peddled by the 5th Infantry Division, Philippine Army Office of the 5th ID, PA as gospel truths” and found print in a local paper on its May 6, 2018 issue.
“In a desperate attempt to score pogi points and earn for themselves a promotion from their superiors and in the process line their pockets from rebel bounty hunting, 5th ID PA commanding officer Major Gen. Perfecto Rimando, Jr. and PNP Provincial Director Ocden concocted the story of a young 14-year-old little girl, allegedly recruited in the NPA.
“The red-kid-girl story is entirely false. It is full of lies and innuendoes. It has no factual basis. Her printed story in all likelihood is the handiwork of a dirty truncated mind and machination of PNP/AFP intelligence and psychological warfare department.
                “It was unfortunate for the little girl to be used as a pawn and specimen by overzealous and scheming police/military officers trained in the art of psychological warfare to vilify and cast aspersions against the revolutionary forces. “I feel sorry for the little girl. Whoever pushed her to fall prey as cannon fodder in the PNP’s and AFP’s all-out war is denounced.”
Naogsan said the “NPA strictly follows its recruitment guidelines on age requirement that it will only accept 18 years old and above aside from other requirements. It is pure hogwash the claim that a 14-year-old was recruited by the Leonardo Pacsi Command, the NPA-Mountain Province.
“Further, the innuendo that the girl was being molested by her male co-trainees as part of their military training is far from the truth. The NPA is a well disciplined army that adheres strictly to its so called “3-musts” and “8-disciplines” which  mandate “not to take liberties on women.”
“If that is the practice in the PNP/AFP military trainings as exposed in several instances, it is unfair and malicious to equate the same with that of the people’s revolutionary army.”
He said Ka Udyaw, who is also spokesperson of the Artus Talastas Front Operational Command, NPA-East Mt. Province clarified that they know nothing of a certain Ashiana Chadyaag aka Trese that was ever recruited in Paracelis at the age of 14 and stayed there until she allegedly escaped when she was 16 years old. “If indeed, she joined the NPA unit operating in Eastern Mt. Province, then she would have known and stated in her story recount that she was under ATFOC. This only shows that either the girl is a fake rebel or the manipulator doesn’t know what he is talking about. The story as reported with factsheet emanating from the PNP is not only incoherent and stupid but plain fabrication.
“Consider the following: One, how can she be given a special and delicate mission to assassinate PNP Provincial Director Allen S. Ocden if she was a trainee dropout? It defies all logic to believe that such a tall order to assassinate someone be carried out by a dropout singlehandedly and transmitted simply by way of text messaging? That’s simply stupid! And you expect the reading public to believe that? It’s cheap gimmick! If the very purpose of PNP/AFP spokespersons to peddle such make-believe story is to drum up sympathy support and gain political pogi points for future political ambitions of PNP wannabes, then it is cheap propaganda at the expense of the kid girl.
“The make-believe story cited her intention in going to the barracks to voluntarily surrender to the PNP or 77th IB but collapsed at the gate before reaching the guard house! Which is which? To surrender or to assassinate the PD? And she was carrying with her four cell phones, grenade, subversive documents and cash. That’s hogwash! Are you sure the PNP/AFP did not plant these alleged possessions of the alleged red kid fighter? This allegation is suspect as this is the standard modus operandi of PNP/AFP in crime solving - planting evidence? And it is the police that is talking! It doesn’t make sense at all. What a sloppy intel report! Three, the police could not find the firearms where the girl said she deposited them?
“Or might we say, some other police assigned to do the evidence planting forgot to place those firearms where others would find them! Fourth, the PNP PD does not allow anyone, even media people to interview the alleged rebel kid girl he took under his personal custody.
“And yet the PNP is magnanimous in releasing unverified and malicious information purportedly from the girl to the public. To put into the mouth of the alleged rebel kid girl that she participated in an ambush in Isabela is absurd, and to inject in her mind that she was part of the group that ambushed and killed her own soldier uncle is a calculated psychological torture upon her. It just shows how inconsiderate and brutal these so called PNP/AFP psywar experts can twist and manipulate the young mind of their unsuspecting alleged red kid prey.”


AFP, PNP, RDC defer delist of 7 Igorots from terrorist list

LAGAWE, Ifugao -- The Regional Development Council in Cordillera is deferring action on a proposed resolution seeking the removal of seven Igorots from the terrorist list of the Department of Justice, pending written recommendation of intelligence agencies in the region.
The Philippine National Police, Philippine Army, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency and other intelligence agencies in Cordillera convened on Monday evening to discuss the issue, National Economic Development Authority regional director Milagros Rimando, who co-chairs the RDC, said.
                “They convened and discussed with intelligence personnel before they can clarify in writing their stand in relation to the RDC-RPOC passing a similar resolution. We hope to get their recommendation at the soonest, so that we can schedule a special meeting,” she said.
                Following their Monday meeting, the heads of the 5th Infantry Division (51D) and the Police Regional Office Cordillera requested the RDC to delay the recommendation on the delisting of the seven Igorots from the DOJ's terrorist list.
5Ist ID commander Maj. Gen. Perfecto Rimando and Cordillera police regional director Chief Supt. Rolando Nana both sought to communicate first with the DOJ to find out the reason for the seven Cordillerans' inclusion in the terrorist list, which named 600 persons in all.
The seven Cordillerans, including a United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Victoria “Vicky” Tauli-Corpuz, are on the DOJ list of alleged officers and members of the communist groups.
The six others are human rights lawyer Jose Molintas, Joanna Cariño, Windel Farag-ey Bolinget, Sherwin De Vera, Beverly Sakongan Longid, and Jeannette Ribaya Cawiding.
“They could not have been tagged as terrorists without a reason. We want to know why they were branded as such. We hope to study further,” Rimando said.
The police official said tagging people involves certain mechanisms and due diligence is needed before recommending a deletion of their names.
“There should be a mechanism and supporting detail why we will recommend their delisting,” he said.
The officials said it is not easy to tag a person as a terrorist and is even more difficult to delist him or her.
Earlier, the Baguio City Council approved a resolution seeking the deletion of the seven Igorots' names from the terrorist list. A similar resolution was also passed by Sagada in Mountain Province.
Mountain Province provincial administrator lawyer Amador Batay-an added that the tagging affects the whole region, thus the need to immediately act on it.
               It puts not only some provinces but the region in a bad light to be declared that there are some terrorists coming from our region. While it is true that there are some activists, these are not terrorists, they are fighting for rights of their people but they are not terrorists. To equate activism with terrorism is also unfair to those who are fighting for the rights of their brothers and sisters in the Cordillera,” Batay-an said. -- PNA


NPA rebs face raps over Cagayan exec’s slay

TUGUEGARAO, Cagayan, — Police filed criminal charges before the Department of Justice on Tuesday against 16 New People’s Army  rebels in connection with the killing of a councilor in Allacapan, Cagayan on May 24.
Chief Supt. Mario Espino, Cagayan Valley police director, said the communist guerrillas, who are members of the Danilo Ben Command, admitted killing Zaldy Mallari in Barangay Labben.
Police said Cristina Garcia, alias Ka Senyang, and Lolito Rasa, who were among those charged, led the attack on a police station in Allapacan in 2013, which left eight police officers dead, and the killing of a soldier in an ambush in Rizal, Cagayan last year.    


SAP Go assures independent NBI probe on Fr. Nilo slay

By Ariel Avedaño 

GEN. NATIVIDAD, Nueva Ecija — Special Assistant to the President  Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said Monday that he will order the National Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent investigation into the killing of Rev. Fr. Richmond Nilo.
Speaking at a press conference Monday after attending the inauguration of the newly-constructed evacuation center here, SAP Go said the truth must prevail so that justice can be truly served in the murder of Fr. Nilo.
The priest was gunned down while preparing to celebrate a 6 p.m. Sunday mass at the Nuestra Señora de Las Nieve Chapel in Barangay Mayamot, Zaragoza last June 10.
Adel Roll Milan, 26, a primary suspect in the murder has been arrested and charged while police continue to hunt down at least five other suspects.
Milan’s mother, Mylene who is an overseas Filipino worker in Riyadh, appealed to SAP Go through her Facebook page to conduct an impartial probe on the case, claiming her son is innocent.


Graft raps against Ifugao congressman Baguilat dismissed

THE SANDIGANBAYAN has upheld the dismissal of the graft cases filed against Ifugao Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Baguilat Jr. in connection with the alleged purchase of an overpriced vehicle during his term as governor.
                In a resolution dated June 4, the Fifth Division said the Office of the Ombudsman failed to raise new arguments that would warrant the reversal of a ruling clearing Baguilat of two counts of graft.
The anti-graft court said the ombudsman violated Baguilat’s right to a speedy resolution of the cases.
It said it took the prosecution more than a decade to resolve the complaint, even as the issue involved only a single transaction.
Filed by the ombudsman on Feb. 9, the cases against Baguilat stemmed from the purchase by the provincial government of Ifugao of an alleged overpriced second-hand Isuzu Wagon Trooper amounting to P900,000 in March 2003.
The ombudsman said the vehicle was purchased without public bidding as required under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.
It said the purchase was anomalous due to the absence of budget appropriation and execution of the deed of sale ahead of the preparation of the purchase request, canvass report and purchase order.
But in a ruling dated April 19, the Sandiganbayan said the prosecution’s arguments were baseless.
It also questioned why the resolution only came out eight years after the cases were filed.


‘Tambay’ nabbed for frustrated slay of cop

By Erwin Beleo

CAMP DIEGO SILANG, La Union – A “tambay” was arrested for frustrated murder of a policemen and illegal possession of firearms in Barangay Francia Sur, Tubao, La Union at about 5:47 p.m. Monday.
Chief Insp. Silverio Ordinado Jr., La Union’s police information officer, identified the suspect as Richard C. Talamayan, 42, married, jobless and resident of Barangay Francia West.
The victim was identified as PO1 Francisco Geneta of La Union Provincial Mobile Force Company.
Investigation showed Talamayan was having a drinking session of liquor with his friends at a sari-sari store when Geneta entered said place and took off his helmet.
Without apparent reason the suspect got irked and poked a gun at the victim and allegedly pulled the trigger but misfired prompting Geneta to seek assistance at the HI-PAD (Highway Public Assistance Desk) and arrested the suspect.
Seized from the suspect were a handgun Colt MK 4, Cal. 45 pistol with serial number 172855, with one magazine and six live bullets. Talamayan is now under the custody of Tubao police station.
He is facing charges of attempted murder and Violation of Republic Act 10591 or illegal possession of firearms.


Cordillera leaders hit NPA attack in Sagada

LAGAWE, Ifugao — The Cordillera Regional Development Council and Regional Peace and Order Council unanimously endorsed in a joint meeting here Monday a resolution condemning the New Peoples Army's attack on policemen in Sagada, Mountain Province last June 5 that left a policeman dead and nine others wounded, including a colonel.
 The official condemnation was initiated by the Army’s 503rd Infantry Brigade Commander General Leopoldo Imbang, who recommended the issuance of such resolution for the security of the residents.
The 503rd IB covers the provinces and cities in the Cordillera, except for Abra province.
Imbang said the attack should be condemned, not just because there were 10 casualties, but for the atrocities in communities that prevent people from living peacefully and without fear.
Imbang said numerous atrocities were recorded in Sagada alone in the past years, despite having been declared a peace zone by the communities about 20 years ago.
In Philippine setting, especially in northern Philippines, a peace zone means communist rebels are not allowed to put up camps in the area, for the residents' peace of mind.
About seven years ago, soldiers bound to conduct a medical outreach were ambushed in a sitio in Bontoc, Mountain Province.
Imbang recalled that around three years ago, members of the 54th Infantry Battalion facilitating a youth leadership summit in Sagada were ambushed by the NPA, resulting in the death of two soldiers and wounding five others.
Imbang reported that based on records, there were 171 violent and non-violent activities by the NPA, 121 of them happened in six barangays in Sagada--Aguid, Fidelisan, Madungo, Bangaan, Tannulong, and Pide.
These villages were declared peace zones by the barangays and the town governments, but still, bloody encounters were recorded in 2010, 2013, 2014. The recent of which was on June 5.
Imbang recommended that members of the Citizens Armed Forces Auxiliary Unit (CAFGU) be stationed at Lake Danum, villages of Aguid and Fidelisan in Sagada, Tinoc town in Ifugao, and in barangays of Aguinaldo and Pinococ in Pinukpuk, Kalinga, where a PHP4.3 billion pump irrigation project of the government is set to be constructed.
 Thomas Killip, a former Sagada mayor and Presidential Adviser for Northern Luzon during the administration of former President Gloria Arroyo, also suggested that aside from condemning the NPA atrocities in Sagada, a separate resolution commending the community for their initiative to protect the peace zones be issued.
"Community responses are also important. These are matters that should be appreciated, as (atrocities) degrade the integrity of our peace zone," Killip said. "The officials and elders are not remiss in doing their role.”
Killip said before the June 5 fighting broke out, it was a member of the community, who reported the presence of NPA encampment near Barangay Buasao, where neighboring barangays Aguid and Fidelisan source their water.
He said the leaders and elders of the community in Fidelisan took the initiative to visit the area and talk to those establishing a camp to prevent the pollution of the water source.
Killip said a group of women from Sagada rescued and retrieved the bodies of the wounded and dead combatants in the June 5 clash.
National Economic Development Authority Cordillera regional director Milagros Rimando, who presided over the joint meeting, said the agency had tasked the Department of the Interior and Local Government to collate more data and information to support the resolutions. PNA


Backhoe falls into deep water crossing river; driver drowns

By Mar Supnad

CAMP QUIRINO, Ilocos Sur – A backhoe operator drowned Monday  after the heavy equipment he was driving fell into deep water in Buaya River, Barangay San Tiburcio, Salcedo town.
Police report identified the victim as Roel Urbano, 52 backhoe operator and resident of Baranagy Bagani Tocgo, Candon City.
Initial investigation by the police disclosed the backhoe of FNDCC construction driven and operated by the victim flipped while crossing   Buaya River due to a deep excavation in the river bed.
But the victim was trapped inside the backhoe and drowned.
Victim was rescued by the responding disaster officials of Sta. Lucia, and rushed him to Salcedo District Hospital, Barangay Pob Norte, Salcedo, for medical treatment but was declared dead by attending physician Dr. Joan Gacusana.
It was not known who ordered the deep excavation along the river.


'Big 3' rolls back oil prices in Baguio City

By Dionisio Dennis Jr.

BAGUIO CITY -- The so-called "Big 3" oil companies -- Shell, Petron and Caltex denied they were involved in “cartelization” pump prices here saying they cut petroleum products in the city by as much as P2 to P6 per liter for diesel and gasoline, respectively.
 Rep. Mark Go bared this to media on Friday, saying, “They (oil retailers) they lowered the price of diesel by P2 and P6 for gasoline. Now the disparity is trimmed,” Go said in Filipino, referring to the disparity in the pump prices in Baguio compared to other parts of the country.
He, however, said that he is not yet contented as the disparity remains at P5 to P6 in the city and Rosario, La Union when it should only be between P1 and P1.50.
In 2017, Go filed a bill in Congress seeking for an investigation into the P10 to P14 disparity in the prices of fuel sold in Baguio compared to Rosario, La Union.
 “This has been what we were working on since last year and as part of the effort that we have done, we filed a resolution to investigate this,” he said.
 He said that during the week, Mia delos Reyes of Petron called him that they will reduce the price of gasoline by PHP5 and diesel by PHP1.50.
 He, however, said that while the disparity had been lowered, “we are not yet satisfied. We want to know how they get their price and what the basis of the rollback is.”
 While the battle to lower the prices of fuel sold in Baguio goes on, Go said he also filed a bill in Congress to empower the Department of Energy (DOE) to set the price ceiling of fuel to avoid disparity in the selling prices, not just in Baguio, but the whole country. The proposed bill is now with the Committee on Energy at the Lower House.
 Meanwhile, in a consultation meeting on Thursday, owners and retailers of fuel in Baguio city denied allegations of cartelization in oil pricing.
 Retailer and franchise holders of the "Big 3" said they are merely following the suggested retail price handed down to them by their mother company.
 Elmer Tamondong, Rhea Tabanda, and Christina Suello from Shell, Caltex and Petron said that as local retailers, they cannot dictate prices.
 "As a retailer, we don't have the right to change the prices of our products. The decision is from our main office and whatever their decision is, that is what we are following. That is why it is beyond our control," Tamondong said in Filipino.
 During the consultation meeting, DOE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau Director Rino Abad talked about the factors affecting oil price. He said that the absence of a nearby oil depot and big industries' heavy fuel consumption are just some of the factors. He also said that the low consumption in the city relative to La Union is another factor.
"Fuel affects everyone, that's why we are here to discuss with you the issues and concerns that affects oil price, especially that there are reports that the fuel price here has some disparities," Abad said.
 Aside from the retailers of the big three, a representative of Clean Fuel who also attended the meeting, said they sell at lower prices because they have limited expenses, such as advertisements, which are added to the operational cost.
 "We can give our customers as low as we can because we're not like the Big 3 that spend money for advertisement and we do not also pay much in our rentals because some of the lot where our retail gasoline stations are situated are company-owned," the representative said. 


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