Ex-Senate president says E.O. 839 has legal basis

November 5, 2009 11:33 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 6 — Former Senate President Franklin Drilon categorically said on Friday that Executive Order No. 839 issued by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, mandating a price freeze on petroleum products at the Oct. 15, 2009 levels in Luzon, has legal basis.

"Because in our country, when a province is under a state of calamity, the President has the power to impose price ceiling on basic commodities," Drilon said.

"This cannot be done without the existence of a state of calamity," he added.

The former Senate president was referring to the imposition of price ceilings on basic and prime commodities such as rice, noodles, eggs, canned products, other agricultural products, pump and cooking gas products, including liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

President Arroyo declared a state of calamity following the devastation caused by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in a wide area of Luzon, including Metro Manila, last September and October.

Drilon likewise said that the warning of the oil companies that they would not anymore import oil products is illegal and because of that, they can be charged for violation of the Oil Deregulation Law and the Revised Penal Code. (PNA) scs/PTR

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