MANILA, Philippines—Thirteen officials and employees of the Department of Finance were ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman on Friday after it found them guilty of defrauding the government of P82 million in staging the so-called tax-credit scam in the 1990s.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found guilty of grave misconduct former Finance Undersecretary and One-Stop Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (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.
Morales said the 13 people should be dismissed from government service, with accessory penalties of cancelation of eligibility, forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification from reemployment in the government service.
The Ombudsman’s decision stemmed from the complaint of Special Presidential Task Force 156 alleging anomalous issuances of 110 tax-credit certificates (TCCs) to Integrated Multi Cotton Mills Inc. (IMCMI) by the DOF amounting to P82,519,235.
According to the Office of the Ombudsman, the TCCs used by IMCMI and approved by the finance officials were obtained using fake documents.
The TCCs were also transferred to various corporations such as 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, the Ombudsman said.
In another decision, Morales also recommended the filing of graft charges against former officials of the Center for the anomalous issuance of TCCs amounting to P74.84 million.
Former OIC Raul de Vera was ordered charged with violating antigraft and corruption laws and estafa (fraud). Those also included in the Ombudsman’s indictment were former senior tax specialist Brandy Marzan, senior tax specialist Rosanna Diala, tax specialist/evaluator Gregoria Cuento-Evangelio, comptroller Reynaldo Maghirang, reviewer Asuncion Magdaet and Evaluator Purita Napenas.
Also ordered charged with estafa were private respondents Honorato Lacsina (president of Liberty Transport Inc.), Joseph Cabotaje, Ramon Rodriguez (president of R.A. Rodriguez Bus Line), Candido Potenciano (president of the Batangas Laguna Tayabas Bus Company), Joselito Tengco (manager of Baliwag Transit Inc.), three counts each; Henry Tumala, (president of Lamborghini Transit Inc.), Charles Uy, Ma Uy Yu, Yu Chin Tong and Emerito Guballa (all officers or employees of Nikko Textile Mills Inc.).
Morales said the respondents issued 20 TCCs amounting to P74.84 million using spurious documents. The credits were given to BLTBC, Baliwag Transit, Rodriguez Bus Line, Liberty Transport, Lamborghini Transit and Nikko Textile.