PETRON CORP. has cancelled its multimillion oil cargo-handling contract with Herma Shipping and Transport Corp. due to alleged syndicated oil theft at sea worth hundred of millions of pesos.The giant oil firm, represented in court by lawyer Vicente Chuidian, cancelled all its contracts pending resolution of several cases it filed against the shipping line with the Manila Regional Trial Court.
Herma Shipping is engaged in the tankering business and operated by sportsman Hermie Esguerra.
Chuidian said Esguerra is not only facing charges of oil theft and a multi-million peso intra-corporate law suit, but also for attempted bribery and for stealing important Petron documents.
Petron filed the oil theft charges against Esguerra and 11 of his personnel after operatives of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection
Group raided M/T Bocaue, one of Esguerra’s oil cargo vessels for the alleged stealing 11, 870 liters of Jet A-1 fuel.
The raiders, accompanied by Petron officials and representatives from the Manila sheriff’s office, boarded M/T Bocaue shortly after the vessel failed to unload its entire oil shipment at the Petron Pandacan depot in February this year.Petron later upgraded its charges to large-scale estafa and intra-corporate lawsuit after investigators found Esguerra’s personnel allegedly stole hundred of millions of pesos worth of Jet A-1 fuel at sea in the past five years.Esguerra has denied all charges.