"The government no longer has an excuse not to examine the books of the Big 3 oil firms. The court order is explicit, and should immediately be complied with," Escudero said.
The court order instructs the Commission on Audit, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, and the Bureau of Customs to conduct an audit of the books of the Big 3 oil firms
Covered by the examination were the oil firms' cash receipts, cash disbursement books, purchase orders on petroleum products, delivery receipts, sales invoices and other related documents on the purchases of petroleum products from January to December 2003
"The least that the government can do is to conduct without delay the audit as mandated by the court. This much it owes the Filipino people," Escudero said.
The senator said the government has dragged its feet on the issue for too long, adding that early decisive action by the Department of Energy (DOE) could have spared the public at least some fuel price increases.
"The DOE had promised as far back as two years ago to get the Big 3 to report on their state of finance. It is lamentable that the DOE apparently does not feel any sense of urgency on the matter despite the fact that the people have long been clamoring for action on the issue," Escudero said.
"The government should show its sincerity in addressing this issue. No more lip service, act now without dispatch and audit the oil firms' books," he added.