The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is investigating the questionable wealth of one of the lawyers of Maguindanao massacre suspect Andal Ampatuan Jr., to determine if it was heard-earned, acquired through illegal means, or if it is his client’s money after all.
A lot of people, even his friends and neighbors, wonder how and where Atty. Arnel Manaloto got his vast fortune which he splurged on luxury vehicles, acquiring real estate, and opening several restaurants in Pampanga and Metro Manila in a span of few years.
To start with, Manaloto maintains several expensive cars, such as a Honda City, a brand new Toyota Fortuner, a Lexus sport utility vehicle and a Chevrolet Camaro sports car in the garage of his P30 million property in Sucat, Paranaque.
He also boasts of two Mang Inasal franchises in Angeles City, Pampanga and in Ermita, Manila, a farm in Magalang, Pampanga, a beach resort in Iba, Zambales, and a security agency.
But what surprised BIR investigators is his acquisition or purchases of several real estate properties in Davao City when he lives and works in Pampanga and most of his businesses are in Region 3 and the National Capital Region (NCR).
Land Registration Authority (LRA) records show that he owns at least eight prime lots in Davao.
But what authorities do not know is that majority of these properties were owned by Ampatuan Jr.
Records obtained by this columnist show that the Honda City with plate number PXI 729 and the Toyota Lexus with plate number AJR 815 were owned by the younger Ampatuan.
On the other hand, the prime lots, with numbers T416373, T430739, T430740, T430741, T444571, T445458, T445459, T445460, were owned by Andal Ampatuan Jr., but these are now under the name of Manaloto based on LRA records.
In an interview at TV 5 last Wednesday, Manaloto denied that the cars belong to Ampatuan, except for the Toyota Lexus whom he said was a payment for his services to the massacre suspect.
On the question on how he got the money to buy all those cars, properties and businesses, the lawyer boasted that his wife used to be a flight attendant in Saudi Arabia. Wow…she may have earned a million dollars a year?
Manaloto has really a lot of explaining to do not only to the BIR but maybe before the Supreme Court too.
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Where’d all the LTO money go?
It’s really disgusting to learn that a revenue generating agency like the Land Transportation Office (LTO) does not have money to buy the equipment needed to check public vehicles before they are registered.
The LTO on Tuesday said it may take them several more weeks to check all the 200 buses of the GV Florida Bus Line for roadworthiness after one of its buses fell into a ravine in Bontoc, Mountain Province, killing 14 passengers and injuring a dozen more last week.
Officials of the agency admitted that they do not have the equipment to conduct such tests because their machines are dilapidated or are already obsolete. They have not been replaced because there was no money allocated by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) for the purchase of new and modern testing equipments.
For now, LTO personnel inspect and test vehicles manually by tapping the brake housing with a hammer or simply stepping on the brake pedals.
No wonder a lot of our buses these days are unsafe and prone to mechanical failures because they pass with flying colors the substandard inspection and testing of the LTO.
Tsk, tsk, tsk . . . One wonders if buying those equipment is one of the priorities of DOTC Sec. Jun Abaya.