August 12, 2019

‘I remain busy, not on floating status,’ BIR exec clarifies as she denies Tulfo’s report.

BUREAU of Internal Revenue (BIR) assistant commissioner Teresita Angeles has called out columnist Ramon Tulfo for “malicious and irresponsible reporting” over the release of a purported video clip and two column pieces that attack her person, and the corruption at the agency that also allegedly involves BIR chief Caesar Dulay and his executive assistant.

In a statement, Angeles, chief of the bureau’s Client Support Services, said the video clip and Tulfo’s two columns at the Manila Times targeting her and Dom Samson, executive assistant to Dulay, are a “clear case of journalism gone wrong.” The Times printed the assailed columns last August 6 and August 8.

Tulfo used as basis a video clip that he claimed was given to him by his “sources” at the agency and which he also uploaded on his social media account last August 6.

The recording was supposedly made sometime in August 2017 when Angeles and Samson were both enrolled for a “short course” at the Harvard University in the United States.

The profanity-laden video did not show who were in the video but Tulfo claimed the voices were those of Angeles and Samson, citing his unnamed sources.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” Angeles said, stressing her purported conversation with Samson “never happened.”

Samson, she added, already stated that he has never been to the United States. Samson said he was in Dubai instead from August 26 to September 3, 2017, to visit his relatives.

“My personality, my professional record, my upbringing, cannot but treat the video recording as something untrue, unkind and unfair,” Angeles stressed.

In a letter to the Times last week, Angeles described Tulfo’s video clip as “unverified, unvalidated and quite obviously, manufactured.”

Angeles also bewailed that instead of getting their side first, Tulfo resorted to using the phrase, “my sources said,” to justify his attacks against her and Samson. “Fairness and due respect do not seem to be in his vocabulary,” the official said.

Angeles also debunked Tulfo’s claim that as a result of the scandal, she was placed on “floating status” by Dulay.

“I was never placed on ‘floating status’ because of the video. I am now the assistant commissioner for client support services and very, very busy in my job,” she bared.

Tulfo claimed that Angeles was fuming together with Samson because Dulay had allegedly left them out of the tax settlement between the BIR, Mighty Corporation and Del Monte Philippines, insinuating that a huge amount of bribe money was involved.

Samson earlier said he was hardly aware of the tax cases involving Mighty Corporation and Del Monte, as he only joined the BIR on May 15, 2017.

Angeles added she can never accuse Dulay of corruption because of the Mighty and Del Monte cases.

As the BIR official directly involved in the cases, Angeles said the settlements were both “aboveboard.”

In October 2017, the government approved the BIR’s settlement with Mighty, which paid nearly P40 billion in tax arrears and penalties with the added condition that it would no longer engage in the cigarette business.

Angeles stressed the settlement was concluded “under the strict supervision of Comm. Dulay and Department of Finance Secretary, Carlos Dominguez.”

“Mr. Tulfo could serve our country better by using whatever journalism talent he has in clarifying issues between China and the Philippines instead of engaging in rumor mongering, gossip writing and irresponsible journalism,” Angeles added.

Angeles was referring to Tulfo’s designation by Malacañang as “special envoy” to China.