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Bigger fish involved in Del Monte tax case?

  • Written by Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 899

SPEAKER Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez has hinted that public officials higher than officers of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) could be involved in the alleged reduction of tax liabilities of Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) to only P65.4 million from the reported assessment of P29 billion in supposed tax deficiency liabilities.

“Definitely yes (involvement of other ranking officials). Eh hindi nga natin alam baka kung saan pa umabot ‘yang imbestigasyon na ‘yan,” Alvarez told a radio interview, referring to the joint probe of the House committees on ways and means and on good government and public accountability that he called to determine the veracity of allegations.

“Baka, hindi natin alam there are possibilities,” Alvarez responded without naming names when asked if there are other officials higher than Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay and his subordinates who could be behind the alleged reduction of DMPI tax liabilities.

Alvarez and other House leaders asked the BIR to explain the allegations following the supposed plunder complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against Dulay and 17 other officials and personnel in connection with the alleged reduction of the tax liabilities of DMPI resulting in the reported lost of P29 billion in potential revenues.

Earlier, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Dulay’s boss, said he will look into the plunder complaint against the BIR chief and some of his men even as he pointed out that Del Monte Philippines Inc., whose tax liabilities from 2011 to 2013 were allegedly slashed by the BIR to just P65.4 million from P30 billion, had not committed a criminal act.
    
DMPI denied the purported tax irregularities covering 2011 to 2013 as alleged in the plunder complaint filed against Dulay and other BIR officials.
    
Alvarez asked public officials to reciprocate President Duterte’s hard work by helping in his efforts to rid the government of corruption.
    
“Hindi biro talaga, naubos na nga ang buhok ko diyan eh. Puwede naman akong pakuya-kuyakoy na lang ‘di ba? Naaawa din naman ako sa Pangulo dahil nagtatrabaho siya nang maayos at talagang seryoso sa paggawa ng trabaho n’ya para sa bayan tapos merong ganitong klase ng opisyal na nagsasamantala eh kailangang tulungan ko rin ang Pangulo,” a disappointed Alvarez said.