13 DOF officials axed for involvement in tax credit scam

March 24, 2012 1:42 am 

By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

MANILA, March 23 – Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales has dismissed from the service 13 officials of the Department of Finance (DOF) for defrauding the government of more than P82 million arising from a series of "tax credit scam" from 1994 to 1998.

In a decision, Ombudsman Morales found former DOF Undersecretary and Center OIC-Administrator Antonio Belicena, former Deputy Administrator Uldarico Andutan, Jr., Reviewers Rowena Malonzo and Asuncion Magdaet, Evaluators Gemma Ortiz-Abarra, Annabelle Diño, Emelita Tizon, Purita Napenas, Charmelle Recoter, Melrose Tordesillas, Gregoria Cuento-Evangelio, Mark Binsol, Cherry Gomez and Sylviana Daguimol guilty of grave misconduct and meted the penalty of dismissal from the service, with accessory penalties of cancellation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits, and perpetual disqualification from re-employment in the government service.

Since Belicena had already retired from the government service, he was meted the accessory penalties.

The decision arose from the complaint of the Special Presidential Task Force 156, alleging anomalous issuance of 110 Tax Credit Certificates (TCCs) to Integrated Multi Cotton Mills, Inc. (IMCMI) by the DOF amounting to P82,519,235.

The TCCs, which were obtained by IMCMI using fake documents, were subsequently transferred to the following corporations: Wise & Co., Bush Boake Allen Phils., Filsyn Corporation, Hi-Lon Manufacturing Co., Canlubang Spinning Mills, Pacific Mills, Inc., Golden Dragon Textile Mills, Inc., First Unity Textile, Padoson Stainless Steel, Pacific Mills and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.

Morales also ordered the filing of criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan against former officials of the One-Stop Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (Center) for the anomalous issuance of TCCs amounting to P74.84 million.

In separate resolutions, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of 20 counts of violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act", and 20 counts of estafa thru falsification of official/public documents against Belicena and Andutan.

Former OIC-Net Local Content/Net Value Equivalent and Domestic Capital Equipment Raul de Vera was ordered charged with 19 counts each of the said offenses; former Senior Tax Specialist Brandy Marzan, four counts each; Senior Tax Specialist Rosanna Diala, 14 counts each; Tax Specialist/ Evaluator Gregoria Cuento-Evangelio, one count each; comptroller Reynaldo Maghirang, three counts each; Reviewer Asuncion Magdaet, one count each; and Evaluator Purita Napenas, one count each.

Also ordered charged were private respondents Honorato Lacsina (president, Liberty Transport Inc.), three counts; Joseph Cabotaje, 16 counts; Ramon Rodriguez (president, R.A. Rodriguez Bus Line), seven counts; Candido Potenciano (president, Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Company), three counts; Joselito Tengco (manager, Baliwag Transit, Inc.), three counts; Henry Tumala, (president, Lamborghini Transit, Inc.), three counts; Charles Uy, Ma Uy Yu, Yu Chin Tong and Emerito Guballa (all officers/employees of Nikko Textile Mills, Inc.), one count each.

The respondents were ordered charged with the said offenses for the issuance of 20 TCCs amounting to P74.84 million using spurious documents: P17.3 million to the BLTB; P9.4 million to Baliwag Transit; P19.092 million to Rodriguez Bus Line; P12.05 million to Liberty Transport; P14.6 million to Lamborghini Transit; and P2.4 million to Nikko Textile.

The Center was created under Administrative Order No. 226 dated Feb. 7, 1992 primarily to process tax credit and duty drawback applications as incentives to BOI-registered enterprises.

The incentives consist of government refund payments on the duties and taxes.

On the other hand, the Ombudsman referred to the Office of the Special Prosecutor for its appropriate action the motion to include private respondent Felix Chingkoe, president of Diamond Knitting Corp., in the plunder charges filed against several DOF officials and other officials of the Chingkoe group of companies.

The case has been undergoing trial before the Sandiganbayan.

Morales said "this Office is no longer in a position to act on the aforesaid motion given the fact that the Sandiganbayan has already acquired jurisdiction over the said cases." (PNA)

RMA/PTR

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