Doctor’s lawyer decries lack of due process in tax raps


Dr. Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III and wife Donna Cruz. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY – The lawyer of singer-actress Donna Cruz’s husband decried on Saturday the alleged lack of due process in the filing of tax evasion charges against his client at the Department of Justice.

Cornelio Mercado, legal counsel of Dr. Potenciano Larrazabal III, an ophthalmologist, claimed that they were surprised by the filing of the charges because his client had not been informed of any tax deficiency and should have been given a chance to settle it.

“We’re surprised. We’re confused. For them to conclude that there was an alleged fraud committed, how did you get that?” he said.

Larrazabal, board secretary of the Cebu Doctors Group of Hospitals and University, has been charged in the DOJ with evading taxes and failing to supply the Bureau of Internal Revenue with correct and accurate information in his tax returns from 2009 to 2011.

The BIR computed Larrazabal’s defiency taxes at P21.14 million.

Larrazabal, founder of the Larrazabal Eye Group, allegedly under-declared his income, did not pay the correct income tax on it and failed to pay value added tax and file his VAT returns.

According to Mercado, they received a notice last April 26, informing them that four BIR representatives were coming to Cebu to examine Larrazabal’s tax records.

The four BIR representatives, he added, would have determined “what they know versus what is in my client’s record.” But they never showed up and he was surprised instead to learn on Wednesday that tax evasion charges had been filed against Larrazabal.

“We don’t know what to do. Will the examination of my client’s records continue or shall we go on and face the charges,” said Mercado. “My client should have been informed that he lacked payment as tax to the government. He should have been given a chance to settle whatever there is to pay. But we were never informed about it.”

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