BIR to probe Sereno records for possible tax evasion
The House justice committee has ordered the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to look into the tax records of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno following allegations of tax evasion.
At Wednesday’s resumption of the hearing on Sereno’s impeachment, committee chair Rep. Reynaldo Umali ordered BIR officials, represented by Deputy Commissioner Arnel Guballa, to examine Sereno’s tax payments, incomes, revenues and compliance.
Umali gave the BIR until February 19 to present the results of the investigation before the panel.
Guballa said the BIR would “try its best” to finish the investigation in less than 12 days.
“Please complete the conduct of investigation by the 19th. We wanted to close this hearing on or about the end of February,” he said.
In the complaint against Sereno, lawyer Larry Gadon claimed that the chief magistrate earned P30 million from the government as legal fees when she defended the government against Philippine International Air Terminals Company Incorporated (Piatco).
At that time, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and other officials were accused of plunder as he was then the senior assistant general manager of the Manila International Airport Administration (MIAA) when the questionable build-operate-transfer contract for Ninoy Aquino International Airport-Terminal 3 (Naia 3) was awarded to Piatco.
The legal fee Sereno received was allegedly not reported to BIR and in her statement of assets, liabilities and net worth. /cbb
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