Osmeña threatens to cite Philrem chief in contempt
Sen. Serge Osmeña has threatened to cite in contempt an official of a remittance company for refusing to reveal the name of its accountant in the ongoing Senate investigation on the alleged $81-million money laundering scam.
Osmeña was about to call for the suspension of the hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee on Tuesday when he remembered the committee’s request for Philrem Service Corp. to reveal the name of its accountant.
Philrem was allegedly used as conduit in the laundering of funds from the central bank of Bangladesh.
“Your honor, I’m so sorry but my accountant already resigned,” said Salud Bautista, Philrem president.
“If we don’t have the name of your accountant, I’m going to recommend that the committee cite you for contempt. You will receive a letter, showing cause why you should not be cited for contempt. The committee has the power to force that information,” Osmeña said.
“Sir, we’re the owners of the company and we’re accountable for the actions that our company has done,” Bautista said.
Osmeña, however, insisted on the committee’s request.
“We want the name of your accountant,” he said. “The committee will be sending you show cause order why you should not be cited for contempt and in the next hearing, if you still don’t have the name, bring your overnight bag already.”
“Okay your honor, yes your honor,” Bautista said.
Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares earlier questioned the receipts Philrem had been issuing to individuals and casinos.
Henares said Philrem’s tax payments had been erroneous because it continued to be registered as a land transport company when it had been operating as a remittance and foreign exchange firm since 2005. RC
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