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Pilipinas Shell contests court order to audit books

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. said in early May that it will resort to all legal means possible to try to overturn a trial court decision ordering the opening of the oil firms’ books. The court order, Pilipinas Shell said, would disrupt its operations. In a three-page manifest before the Manila Regional Trial Court, the oil refiner said the order allowing three government agencies–the Commission on Audit and the Bureaus of Internal Revenue and Customs–to check if it was in a cartel with other big oil firms would hamper business. Pilipinas Shell told the court the ruling is invalid and claimed that “overzealous agents of the said government agencies [might] take the Order as unbridled license to force respondents to produce receipts and other papers for the year 2003.” Based on the court order, Pilipinas Shell had 15 days to file a motion for reconsideration from receipt of the decision of the trial court, and 60 days to file a petition for certiorari, or a review of the decision by a higher court such as the Court of Appeals. The agencies were ordered to examine the firms’ cash receipts, cash disbursement books, purchase orders, delivery receipts, sales invoices and other documents. (May 6, 2009)