Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada is facing a new investigation from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in connection with his acquisition of a new property at Wack Wack subdivision in Mandaluyong City worth P120 million.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said that Estrada’s new mansion will not escape scrutiny.
“We are always looking into the tax angle and we cannot say anything now because anything we do should be confidential, until and unless we are ready to bring the case to court. We want to investigate without interference from anybody or any disturbance for an objective investigation,” Henares said.
“We do our work quietly, with no fanfare, until we are ready [to file charges],” she added.
Estrada had admitted buying the Wack Wack property last year, claiming that he sold his house in North Greenhills to purchase it.
The senator said that he listed his Wack Wack property in his 2012 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) under investments. Social news network Rappler, however, reported that his 2012 SALN only showed that he had condominium units in San Juan and Tagaytay City, a farm and a condominium in Lipa, Batangas province as well as two other lots, a townhouse, and one house in Quezon City, which are all under construction.
Under Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, all public officials and employees, except those who serve in an honorary capacity, laborers and casual or temporary workers, should truthfully disclose their assets in their SALN to identify whether their wealth is commensurate with their income.
“If that [Wack Wack property] is listed in his SALN and the purchase is supported by his declared income, there would be no problem. I would have to see first his reported income in his SALN before I make any pronouncements,” Henares said.
Estrada is one of three senators charged with plunder for allegedly getting huge kickbacks from their priority development assistance fund or pork barrel. On Wednesday, he claimed that senators were given an additional P50 million pork barrel after former Chief Justice Renato Corona was convicted by the Senate.