WHAT WENT BEFORE: The Lavish lifestyle of Jeane Napoles
In 2013, following reports on the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles, photos of the lavish lifestyle of her youngest daughter Jeane—including her expensive jewelry, designer shoes and handbags and Porsche cars—circulated on the internet, causing public uproar.
The scam prompted the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to investigate whether the elder Napoles had paid taxes on her reported properties.
In October 2013, the BIR filed in the Department of Justice (DOJ) a tax evasion complaint against Jeane for not declaring income for properties she had purchased and registered in her name, including a unit in Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles, California.
The BIR sued Jeane for P32.06 million in tax liability, inclusive of interests and surcharges, broken down into P31.38 million in 2011 and P680,000 in 2012.
Among the properties was a Ritz Carlton unit acquired in 2011 for P54.73 million and a farm lot in Bayambang, Pangasinan, where she had a 1/9th share and which was purchased in 2012 for P1.49 million.
In September 2014, the DOJ recommended the filing of charges against Jeane for evading payment of P17.9 million in taxes due in 2011 and 2012.
In May and July 2015, Jeane declined to enter a plea at her arraignment in the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA).
In February, the CTA junked the tax protest of the younger Napoles after her camp failed to show up for pretrial for a third time.
Jeane asked the CTA Second Division to set aside its dismissal of her petition for a judicial review of the P40.03-million tax assessment against her.
The tax assessment was the basis of the tax evasion case filed against her in the court’s Third Division. A favorable ruling from the Second Division would help in the case.
The court dismissed her petition for judicial review on Feb. 16, when her lawyer Ian Encarnacion failed to show up in court.
When they appealed the dismissal in March, Jeane’s lawyers sought a suspension of the proceedings pending the resolution of the tax evasion in the Third Division.
This riled the Second Division, which chided Jeane on April 10 for seeking to revive the petition for review only to ask for its suspension and cause more delays.
In a petition for judicial review, the younger Napoles argued that the BIR erred in its tax assessment for 2011 and 2012, because, as a foreign student in the United States, she was not allowed to work and earn income.
She said her apartment at the Ritz Carlton was part of the allowances given by her parents.
On June 13, in her “second motion for new trial,” Jeane said the case should be retried because the BIR under the Duterte administration was including her condo unit at Ritz Carlton as her mother’s taxable property.
On June 21, the CTA Second Division said it would no longer proceed with Jeane’s petition questioning the basis of the charges against her.
The court rejected the motion that the new evidence her camp wanted to present was a ground to reopen the case and that it could not entertain the new evidence of the defense since the case did not move to the trial stage.
In August, the CTA said it would proceed with the trial of Jeane for tax evasion despite the BIR decision to impose the tax on her Ritz Carlton unit on her mother who gave the property as a gift to her daughter. —MARIELLE MEDINA, INQUIRER RESEARCH
Source: Inquirer Archives
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.