MANILA — The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Friday filed a third complaint before the Department of Justice (DoJ) against controversial cigarette maker Mighty Corporation.
The tax bureau named in the third tax evasion case the same respondents it had charged in the first two cases: Alexander Wongchuking who sits as Mighty’s vice-president for external affairs and assistant corporate secretary; the president, retired Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan; executive vice-president, retired Judge Oscar Barrientos; and Treasurer Ernesto Evicta.
BIR said the respondents face charges of: Unlawful Possession of Articles Subject to Excise Tax without Payment of the Tax; and Possessing False, Counterfeit, Restored or Altered Stamps, in violation of Section 263 and 265(c) of the National Revenue Code of 1997, as amended (Tax Code).
The latest complaint stemmed from the discovery that its cigarettes stored in the Sunshine Corn Mill warehouse in General Santos City bore fake internal revenue stamps.
During checks conducted in April and May using a Taggant reader, the BIR said, it found 89.14 percent of the 67,470 packs there “bore fake” internal revenue stamps.
“As a consequence of the criminal act of Mighty Corporation, together with its responsible officers, of using fake internal revenue stamps, it evaded payment of the correct excise tax and is liable to pay an estimated aggregated deficiency excise tax liability in the total amount of P1.39 billion, inclusive of increments,” said the BIR.
Last May 9, the BIR filed the second tax evasion case against the same respondents involving P26.93 billion in allegedly unpaid excuse tax for unlawful possession of articles subject to excise tax without payment of the tax and for possessing false, counterfeit, restored or altered stamps in violations of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.
Last May 18, the DOJ panel set for May 30 the next preliminary investigation on the first complaint filed by BIR – a P9.564-billion tax evasion complaint.
During the continuation of hearing on May 18, the BIR submitted its reply to the counter-affidavits filed by all of the respondents to the DOJ panel composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Sebastian Caponong Jr., who sits as chairperson, and Assistant State Prosecutors Ma. Lourdes Uy and Mary Ann Parong.
The three-member panel handles the preliminary investigation.
The panel set the next hearing date on May 30 for Mighty Corp.’s rejoinder.
Earlier, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said that the two complaints will be consolidated and handled by the same panel of prosecutors.