BIR ‘has been very responsible’ in handling case vs. Mighty Corp. – Dominguez

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Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez speaks at a conference in Tokyo in this Reuters file photo.

MANILA – Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Tuesday said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) “has been very responsible” in handling the tax evasion case against cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corporation (MC).

“I think BIR has been very responsible. Their main responsibility is to the Filipino people and I think they have acted with total responsibility,” he told reporters after the anniversary lunch the agency hosted at its main office in Manila for former officials of the Department of Finance (DOF) and its attached agencies.

Dominguez’ reaction was made in response to the statement recently issued by MC calling on the BIR “to act more responsibly in making statements regarding the case of MC and take into consideration the repercussions of a cancellation of the license to operate of the company.”

The cigarette company said its around 7,000 employees as well as 55,000 tobacco farmers and their 350,000 family members will be affected once the cigarette company is shuttered.

BIR has filed a P9.5-billion tax evasion case against MC for allegedly using fake stamps on its products.

Boxes of cigarettes with fake tax stamps were seized by combined agents of the BIR and Bureau of Customs (BOC) from three MC warehouses in Pampanga in Central Luzon and the cities of General Santos and Zamboanga in Mindanao in recent months.

Dominguez earlier said the estimated tax loss from these fake tax stamps amounts to at least P5 billion.

He said paying taxes is everybody’s obligation and a company like MC needs to be responsible by not putting its employees at risk.

“It is your responsibility. And you have a responsibility to your stakeholders…and one of your obligations is to make sure that your stakeholders are safe,” Dominguez added.