• Govt ordered to comment on Mighty’s petition vs raids

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    The Court of Appeals (CA) has ordered the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to comment on Mighty Corporation’s (Mighty) petition seeking to prohibit government raids on its warehouses.

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    In a three-page resolution dated March 28, the CA directed BOC Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and other officials under him to explain why it should not be ordered to stop its raids on the facilities of the embattled tobacco company.

    The resolution was penned by CA Justice Stephen Cruz and was concurred in by Justices Jose Reyes and Nina Antonio-Valenzuela.

    “In the meantime, without necessarily giving due course to the petition, private respondents are required to file their comment to the petition [not a motion to dismiss]within a non-extendable period of 10 days from receipt hereof. In turn, petitioner [Mighty] is given 5 days from receipt of the private respondents’ comment within which to file their reply,” it read.

    The CA also set a hearing on Mighty’s plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction to halt the BOC from implementing the mission orders issued by Faeldon.

    In its petition, Mighty assailed the denial of its application for injunctive reliefs by Branch 39 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila.

    Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the arrest of Mighty’s owner over allegations of bribery and the use of fake tax stamps on the packs of its cigarettes.

    Mighty manufactures Mighty Menthol 100’s Hard Pack, Mighty Menthol 100’s, Mighty Full Flavor King Size (red), Marvel’s Menthol 100’s, Marvel’s Menthol Hard Pack and Marvel Menthol 100’s (green).

    On March 7, the owner and lawyer of Mighty Corp., Alexander Wong Chu King, personally met with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd to explain that the corporation has nothing to hide and has not committed any violation of the law.

    On March 8, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued an immigration lookout bulletin order against the Wong Chu Kings.

    On March 22, the Bureau of Internal Revenue filed before the DOJ a complaint against Mighty for the unlawful possession of articles subject to excise tax without payment of the corresponding excise tax and for possessing false, counterfeit, restored or altered stamps, a formal tax evasion.

    Among those charged by the BIR are Mighty’s president, retired Lt. Gen. Edilberto Adan, who used to be deputy chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines; retired trial court judge Oscar Barrientos, executive vice president; Alexander Wong Chu King, assistant corporate secretary; and Ernesto Victa, treasurer.

    A whopping P9.564-billion tax complaint was filed against Mighty.

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