Bizman nabbed for selling ‘bote-bote’ petrol

By Jennifer P. Rendon

A trader was arrested relative to a 2017 case for allegedly selling petroleum products placed in unauthorized containers.

John Berja, 54, was nabbed at his place in Barangay Ilaud Poblacion, Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo afternoon of August 16, 2021.

Staff Sergeant Renebe Blanco, Barotac Nuevo police chief, said Berja was collared by virtue of an arrest warrant for Criminal Case No. 4405 for violation of Section 2 (a) in relation to Sec 3 (a) of Batas Pambansa Bilang 33 as amended by Presidential Decree 1865.

The arrest warrant was issued by Judge Ma. Dianela O. Ladrido of the Barotac Nuevo Municipal Trail Court on August 12, 2021.

Bail for his temporary liberty was set at P3,000.

Blanco said Berja owns a store at the town’s public market.

In 2017, operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) arrested the suspect after he was caught selling petroleum products in unauthorized containers.

PD 1865 prohibits the illegal trading in petroleum and/or petroleum products; adulteration of finished petroleum products, or possession of adulterated finished products for the purpose of sale, distribution, transportation, exchange or barter and under-delivery or underfilling beyond authorized limits in the sale of petroleum products or possession of underfilled liquefied petroleum gas cylinder for the purpose of sale, distribution, transportation, exchange, or barter, among others.

The DOE has been constantly reminding the public on the dangers that “bote-bote” petroleum products may cause to lives and properties.

The reminder came on the heels of the rampant proliferation of illegal sale of liquid fuels like gasoline and diesel placed in soft drink bottles

The DOE has reiterated that “peddling of liquid fuels in any container, such as, soda bottles, plastic bottles, jugs and other similar portable containers are strictly prohibited,” which is stipulated under the existing Department Circular No. DC2003-11-010 also known as the Retail Rules.”

The improper handling of liquid fuels may also lead to accidental fire, illnesses due to inhalation of hazardous fumes, and undesirable effects to the environment.

The DOE noted that liquid fuels are highly combustible and flammable products, and therefore require proper storage and handling as provided under the Fire Code of the Philippines.