Friday, March 23, 2012

Ombudsman Resolves 1st Batch Of “Tax Credit Scam” Cases DOF OFFICIALS FACE RAPS, DISMISSAL

Ombusman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed from the service 13 officials of the Deparment of Finance (DOF) for defrauding the government of  a total of more than P82M arising from a series of “tax credit scam” from 1994 to 1998.

       In the Decision, Ombudsman Morales found former Finance 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 stemmed from the complaint of Special Presidential Task Force 156 alleging anomalous issuances of 110 Tax Credit Certificates (TCC’s) to Integrated Multi Cotton Mills, Inc. (IMCMI)  by the DOF amounting to P82,519,235. The said TCC’s 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 Corporation.

       At the same time, Ombudsman Morales 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 TCC’s amounting to a total of P74.84M.

       In separate Resolutions, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of 20 counts of Violation of Sec. 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) and 20 counts of Estafa thru Falsification of Official/Public Documents (Art. 315 in rel. to Art. 171 of the Revised Penal Code) against former 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 each;  Joseph Cabotaje, 16 counts each; Ramon Rodriguez (President, R.A. Rodriguez Bus Line), seven counts each; Candido Potenciano (President, Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Company), three counts each; Joselito Tengco (Manager,Baliwag Transit, Inc), three counts each; Henry Tumala, (President, Lamborghini Transit, Inc), three counts each; Charles Uy, Ma Uy Yu, Yu Chin Tong and Emerito Guballa (all officers/ employees of Nikko Textile Mills, Inc.), one count each.

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

       The Center was created under Administrative Order No. 226 dated February 7, 1992 primarily to process tax credit and duty drawback applications as incentives to BOI-registered enterprises. The said incentives consist of government refund payments on the duties and taxes.

       Meanwhile, 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 Corporation,  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. The Ombudsman stated “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 

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