What Went Before: Timeline of 22-year-old tax credit certificates scam cases | Inquirer News

What Went Before: Timeline of 22-year-old tax credit certificates scam cases

11:36 AM June 01, 2014

FEB. 7, 1992—Administrative Order No. 266 creates the One-Stop Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center (OSS) which seeks to hasten the processing of tax credit and duty drawback claims of exporters.

Sandiganbayan building facade. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

July 1992 to May 1998— Eleven companies of the Chingkoe Group of Companies, reportedly owned and controlled by Faustino Chingkoe and his wife, Gloria, obtain 533 tax credit certificates (TCCs) from the OSS worth P2.5 billion.

A study later showed that the P2.5 billion tax credits were granted based on a combined reported sales of only P349.72 million. The TCCs were also reportedly granted to the Chingkoe companies even in years when they did not report any sales.


July 1998—The Department of Finance (DOF) discovers the anomalies in the issuance of TCCs.


Feb. 25, 1999—Ombudsman Aniano Desierto orders a six-month preventive suspension of 17 DOF officials allegedly involved in the tax scam. They include Finance Deputy Executive Director Uldarico Andutan, Acting Deputy Executive Director Raul de Vera, Undersecretary Antonio Belicena and other resigned or retired officials.

March 8, 2000—A fact-finding bureau under the Office of the Ombudsman files plunder charges against Belicena, Andutan and De Vera for fraudulently issuing tax credit certificates worth P9.11 billion “in conspiracy” with 10 firms, including oil giants Petron Corp. and Pilipinas Shell Corp.

April 28, 2000—The Sandiganbayan issues a resolution for the Ombudsman to reinvestigate the cases against Belicena and others, including Petron Corp. president Monico Jacob, upon the motion of the respondents.

Aug. 20, 2001—In a surprise ruling, the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division chaired by Justice Narciso Nario dismisses the 62 cases filed against Belicena and others in connection with the scam after the Ombudsman’s failure to submit the results of the reinvestigation of the cases.

Aug. 24, 2001—The Ombudsman files a motion for reconsideration asking the Sandiganbayan to reverse its “untimely and hasty dismissal” of the 62 graft cases.

Dec. 13, 2001—Special Presidential Task Force 156, mandated to probe the tax credit scam, files its first plunder case in the Ombudsman against Diamond Knitting Corp. and the Chingkoe spouses and oil firm executives, namely, Pacifico Cruz of Shell and Celso Legarda of Petron. The other respondents include Belicena, Andutan and tax specialist Rowena Malonzo.


2002—The Bureau of Customs files a consolidated case in connection with the fraudulent use of fake and spurious TCCs to settle the customs duties and taxes on their importations from 1992 to 1998. The Chingkoes are among the several defendants.

Feb. 5, 2002—The Sandiganbayan reverses its earlier ruling and revives the 62 cases.

Aug. 5, 2002—The Ombudsman files charges in the Sandiganbayan but its investigating panel downgrades the task force’s recommended charges of plunder to violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act because of  “insufficient evidence.”

Charged in the Sandiganbayan are Cruz of Pilipinas Shell, Legarda of Petron and Belicena, Andutan and Malonzo. Also charged are six top officials of the Chingkoe group of companies, owners Faustino and Gloria, Faustino’s brother Winston, and Catalina Bautista, Amante Ares and Reynato Andaya.

Oct. 17, 2002—Faustino, one of the principal suspects in the tax credit certificates scam, is arrested at the Quezon City Hall compound by NBI agents, nine months after he reportedly fled the country.

February 2004—Felix Chingkoe, a brother of Faustino and a key witness in the tax scam, says he is withdrawing from the investigation to protest the government bungling of the probe and accused the task force of deliberately weakening the cases by “burning” crucial witnesses in the tax credit scam.

May 2006—The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) orders Shell to pay the Bureau of Internal Revenue P570 million in tax liabilities because the TCCs used by the company to settle its obligations in 1998 were fraudulent.

July 2006—The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) dismisses the civil charges filed by the BOC against the Chingkoe couple after the BOC lawyers failed to attend hearings on the pretrial of the case.

September 2006—The CTA also orders Petron to pay around P580 million in excise taxes and penalties for using the fraudulent TCCs to pay its tax obligations from 1995 to 1997.

April 2008—The appellate court orders the Manila RTC to resume hearing the civil charges, prompting the Chingkoes to elevate the case to the Supreme Court.

March 2009—The Ombudsman files plunder, graft and estafa charges against the Chingkoe couple, finance officials and businessmen for allegedly defrauding the government through illegally obtained TCCs.

March 2011—The Sandiganbayan first division dismisses the plunder case filed against former DOF officials in connection with the tax credit scam involving executives of a textile firm, Filstar Textile Industrial Corp., saying that the charge sheet filed by the Ombudsman failed to show that the officials had pocketed ill-gotten wealth.

The Sandiganbayan rules that there is no probable cause for plunder and dismisses the charges against Belicena, Andutan, Malonzo, the Chingkoe couple, Bautista and Filstar corporate secretary Grace Chingkoe.  An appeal of the dismissal is pending in the Supreme Court.

August 2011—The Ombudsman finds eight former DOF officials guilty of grave misconduct in an administrative case where they were charged with illegal issuance of tax credits worth over P115 million.

The Ombudsman says their penalty should be dismissal from the service, but since they had already been dismissed from the government in connection with another case, they should each be fined the equivalent of six months’ salary.

August 2013—The Supreme Court affirms the Manila RTC’s dismissal of civil charges filed by the government. The high court’s Third Division faults the BOC and the Office of the Solicitor General for their lawyers’ nonappearance at six hearings on the pretrial of the Chingkoe couple. Inquirer Research

Sources: Inquirer Archives



High court affirms dismissal of civil raps vs Chingkoes


Ombudsman accused of bungling Chingkoe case


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Chingkoe couple, finance execs not off the hook

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