• AMLAC to investigate lawyer with Ampatuan’s money

    Erwin Tulfo

    Erwin Tulfo

    Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares said on Friday they have asked the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLAC) to look into reports that one of the lawyers of Andal Ampatuan Jr. has all the money of the Maguindanao primary suspect stashed in a bank under his name.

    Henares said they have copies of bank deposits showing that lawyer Arnel Manaloto deposited millions of pesos under his name in just one day in 2012.

    A copy of those bank deposits was also obtained by TV5 news. At one point, Manaloto deposited P2 million. A few minutes later, he deposited P6 million in the same bank account all in one day.

    Manaloto is one of the legal counsels of Andal Ampatuan Jr., who is currently incarcerated at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Taguig while undergoing trial for the murder of several journalists and civilians in Maguindanao in 2009.

    In 2010, the government issued a freeze order against all of the assets not only of Ampatuan Jr., but his father, Ampatuan Sr., and brother, Zaldy. The Ampatuans are said to have billions of pesos in assets, believed to have accumulated during their reign in Maguindanao.

    Henares admitted they do not have the power to question people like Manaloto as to the source of his wealth but they can check if he is paying the right taxes.

    “We can only go after this guy if he failed to pay the amount due to the government and certainly nail him with tax fraud if we find out that he is not paying the correct taxes,” Henares added.

    The AMLAC has the authority to investigate anyone in this country, including foreign nationals, with questionable wealth and suspicious money transactions or transfers.

    Manaloto, in an interview with TV5 last week, said his business and his wife’s income as a former flight attendant in the Middle East are the sources of their money.

    Aw, c’mon . . . I’ve heard that line before!

    * * *

    BIR must check Eduardo’s income tax for the past five years
    Constructors are wondering why Santa Catalina Construction owner Alice Eduardo is not in the list of top 100 taxpayers for the past years. Neither is her company.

    A friend who is in the construction business but who requested anonymity was surprised to learn that Eduardo is not one of the top taxpayers.

    “They made billions when they cornered that CEZA (Cagayan Export Processing Zone) project three or four years ago, yet they are not on the top taxpayers list?” my constructor friend asked.

    Besides cornering the breakwater project of Port Irene in Cagayan, estimated to be worth P5 billion, Eduardo was tapped by a Japanese firm to build PAGCOR’S entertainment city in Pasay City. The project is said to be worth nearly a hundred billion pesos.

    My good friend said constructors usually earn ten percent or more from the amount of project they build. If his computation is right, Eduardo’s company must have earned P500 million from the CEZA project.

    BIR Commissioner Kim Henares should really look into the income statement of Eduardo and that of her company.



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