Classmates to bring DOJ, BIR closer | Inquirer News
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Classmates to bring DOJ, BIR closer

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 06:00 AM October 16, 2015

THE DEPARTMENT of Justice will work more closely with the Bureau of Internal Revenue to speed up the resolution of tax-related cases and ensure their timely filing in court, newly appointed Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguioa said Thursday.

Caguioa made the statement even as roughly two-thirds of tax-related cases the bureau had filed since 2010 remained pending in the DOJ, leaving BIR Commissioner Kim Henares wondering why cases have been taking too long to resolve.

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“This ongoing joint effort between the DOJ and the BIR will continue. Kim, who was my classmate, has asked to give a little more focus on their concerns. And of course as public servants, we will do that,” he told reporters Thursday, referring to Henares, his classmate in law school.

He noted how legal procedure took time, and how certain rights had to be considered in handling cases. The DOJ has a task force made up of about 20 prosecutors specializing in tax-related cases.

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“I believe there’s always room for improvement. As Kim has recognized, this thing has to be balanced, [including] the rights of people being charged,” Caguioa said in his first press conference after assuming the post on Wednesday.

Of 398 tax-related cases recorded by the DOJ since 2010, 72 “have already been filed or [are] ready for filing,” while 44 have been recommended for dismissal or are “subject for further requirements,” Caguioa said.

Most, however, remain unresolved, with 282 either “pending or submitted for resolution.”

Seven more were added to this list Thursday, as the BIR filed fresh charges of tax evasion against individuals and companies representing total tax liabilities of P616.62 million.

Henares said she understood that those in government were “overworked,” but she hoped BIR cases would at least see resolution at the DOJ.

“No, nobody is ever satisfied. For me, we don’t file weak cases… For me, there has to be resolution, you can’t have it just pending,” Henares said, when asked if she was satisfied with how the DOJ has handled BIR cases.

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