The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will investigate possible tax liabilities arising from an allegedly questionable deal at the University of Makati (UMak).
In response to a letter by Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said the tax agency will not discount allegations raised against personalities linked to the UMak College of Nursing scandal.
Among the personalities linked to the UMak deal were Vice President Jejomar Binay, his son and former Mayor Jejomar “Junjun” Binay of Makati City and key shareholders of listed STI Holdings Inc., who allegedly siphoned off public funds from the school.
“We received a copy of the result of the Senate investigation from Sen. Trillanes and we are looking into it,” the BIR chief said.
“This is not about personalities, our obligation is to make sure everybody abides by the rules,” Henares added.
Trillanes earlier said the Binays and the STI group allegedly connived in diverting an aggregate amount of P547.42 million from UMak to Philippine Healthcare Educators Inc., a private joint venture partner of the Makati City government operating the nursing school at UMak.
Trillanes, who is running for Vice President, said during Senate blue ribbon sub-committee hearings on the alleged Makati corruption scandal, they have uncovered “indubitable facts and records” showing how funds intended for UMak were misappropriated.
Aside from the Binays, Trillanes wants the BIR to check possible violations of tax laws by UMak President Tomas Lopez, and STI executives led by its chairman Eusebio Tanco, STI president Monico Jacob, Annabelle Borromeo and Jack Arroyo Jr.
Aside from the BIR, he asked the Anti-Money Laundering Council, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to probe the paper and money trail and possible liabilities of those involved in diverting more than half-a-billion pesos from UMak.
Considering the sizeable government funds involved, Trillanes said the PSE and SEC should look into the propriety of allowing the individuals involved to continue serving as officers and directors of private and publicly-listed companies.
According to the senator, those linked to the deal are facing serious charges of plunder, malversation of public funds and graft and corruption, among others.
MAYVELIN U. CARABALLO