Philippines court decision to close terminals reaffirmed

The Philippine Supreme Court has received a petition to reaffirm its Mar. 7 decision requiring oil companies to cease operations within Manilla's Pandacan area (OGJ Online, Mar. 15, 2007).

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 30 -- The Philippine Supreme Court has received a petition to reaffirm its Mar. 7 decision requiring oil companies to cease operations within Manilla's Pandacan area (OGJ Online, Mar. 15, 2007).

The Social Justice Society (SJS), which originated the high court case in 2002, said security concerns should have priority over economic considerations, including a possible fuel shortage that companies said might result from transferring oil operations elsewhere. Those companies include Chevron Philippines Inc., Petron Corp., and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.

"Any inconvenience brought about by the closure is temporary," SJS said in a 4-page comment submitted to the Court. "On the other hand, after the removal of the depot, a commercial area will emerge that will bring about lasting prosperity to the residents without constantly exposing them to serious physical danger."

In its Mar. 7 decision, the Court granted the petition filed by SJS and several Manila residents seeking to compel Manila city officials to enforce an ordinance requiring the companies to change the location of their operations. A week later, the three oil firms issued a joint statement calling on the Supreme Court to reconsider its decision.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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