Misamis ecozone ‘tax scam’ probe starts

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: A probe on the operations of the only industrial economic zone in Misamis Oriental started on Monday in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to investigate alleged corruption in the government-run Philippine Investment Veterans Development Corp. (Phividec).

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Newly appointed Phividec administrator, Franklin Quijano, said “there are a lot of problems at the Phividec which the transition team has just uncovered and we want to go into the bottom of this.”

He said there is a need to fast track the investigation about the alleged corruption in Phividec-Misamis Oriental to get an objective appreciation of the issue.

“We need documents to back up these allegations because we want due process to be observed, especially when there are personalities who might get involved,” Quijano told The Manila Times.

He said the President has issued the marching order to conduct the probe in response to allegations of “massive corruption” at the Phividec Industrial Ecozone in Tagolo-an town.

Former Rep. Benjo Benaldo, earlier appointed as a member of the Phividec Board, exposed the alleged tax anomaly in the Phividec Ecozone involving about P2-billion on unpaid real property taxes and rentals.

He said that four multi-national companies, out of the 80 manufacturing and service companies operating in the Phividec Ecozone, have tax delinquent of almost P1-billion.

Benaldo said the Phividec has already issued notice to collect against the companies, but some claimed they have paid taxes and rentals for the past 10 years.

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