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House to probe Del Monte’s P29-B tax liability
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez vowed to leave no stone unturned when the House of Representatives investigates reports that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) allowed a multinational company to get away with its supposed P29-billion tax liability. Facebook/Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, File
MANILA, Philippines - Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez vowed to leave no stone unturned when the House of Representatives investigates reports that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) allowed a multinational company to get away with its supposed P29-billion tax liability.
Alvarez wants the committees on ways and means under Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua and on good government and public accountability of Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel to investigate Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI’s) P29-billion tax liability for three years, or from 2011 to 2013.
“There might be more officials involved. We don’t know yet, but there are possibilities,” Alvarez said in a radio interview when asked if there could be others involved other than BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay.
“We will never know where the investigation will (lead),” he said, referring to a joint probe of two House committees.
Reports indicated the BIR allowed DMPI to pay only P65.4 million, instead of P29 billion.
Other House officials are also seeking an in-depth probe of the issue.
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“We will study the matter thoroughly so that we can bring out the truth. The BIR should be able to explain it well on why they collected only such an amount. If not, they will be held liable,” Cua said of Del Monte Philippines Inc.’s tax assessment.
“I support Speaker Alvarez’s strong stance against corruption,” Cua said, referring to Alvarez’s move to investigate Dulay and 17 others over the issue.
Reports show Dulay and his chief of staff Gaudencio Mendoza Jr., along with 17 others, have been charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman last June upon the complaint of taxpayer Danilo Lihaylihay.
Pimentel also supported the Speaker and echoed the concerns of Cua.
For his part, Ako Bicol party-list Rep. Rodel Batocabe said Congress should not allow possible tax leakages, the very problem in raising revenues among tax-collecting agencies of the government.
“These are very serious allegations which must be looked into considering that government losses amounted to billions of pesos. Definitely, we need to plug this possible leakage in our tax collection system,” the president of the Party List Coalition (PLC) said.
Last May, the Tax Informers Network Inc. asked President Duterte to investigate Dulay, Mendoza and Assistant Commissioner Teresita Mendoza of the Large Taxpayers Service on allegations of plunder, through conspiracy and connivance.
DMPI has denied the allegations.