Three billion pesos in full, Department of Justice (DoJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd said on Tuesday, referring to a compromise tax deal demanded by President Rodrigo Duterte from Mighty Corp. (Mighty), the oldest Filipino cigarette firm.
“The President is asking for only P3 billion in one full payment if the government wants to have its cases against MC dropped,” Aguirre added.
He noted that the President said a tax evasion complaint filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against Mighty before his office might drag on for years in court, thus, the compromise is in order for the government to be able to utilize the hefty sum on urgent needs.
BIR officials who are conducting the auditing in Mighty’s warehouses are reportedly clearing only 80 master cases a day in the San Simon, Pampanga warehouse where the government seized 73,244 master cases.
Each master case contains 50 reams or 500 packs that BIR officials are scanning one by one.
Earlier, Duterte pronounced that the P3 billion will be given to the Department of Health to construct much-needed hospitals in the war-torn southern Mindanao provinces of Basilan and Sulu.
To conduct preliminary investigation of the tax evasion complaint filed by the BIR, the DoJ has formed a panel of prosecutors composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Sebastian Caponong Jr. as chairman and Assistant State Prosecutors Ma. Lourdes Uy and Mary Ann Parong as members.
Almost a month ago, the BIR filed against the homegrown cigarette firm a complaint for unlawful possession of articles subject to excise tax without payment and for allegedly possessing false, counterfeit, restored or altered stamps in violation of Sections 263 and 265(c) of the National Revenue Code of 1997.