Duterte tells Mighty: Settle tax case for P3B | Inquirer News

Duterte tells Mighty: Settle tax case for P3B

By: - Correspondent / @inqmindanao
/ 12:45 AM March 10, 2017

Mighty Corp. president Alex Wongchuking (right)—MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Mighty Corp. president Alex Wongchuking (right)—MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

DAVAO CITY—President Duterte on Thursday said Mighty Corp., accused of massive tax evasion, could settle its tax deficiency if it doubled its offer, an amount that, according to him, could be used to refurbish hospitals in Sulu, Basilan and Manila.

The President said Mighty’s settlement offer of P1.5 billion was “definitely unacceptable.”


“There was deceit. So, he needs to give double. He should offer P3 billion,” Mr. Duterte said, referring to Mighty Corp. president Alex Wongchuking, whom the President earlier ordered arrested.


The President said he was ready to forget the P1.5 billion worth of fake tax stamps the company had printed if it offered a P3-billion settlement.

Presidential pardon

“Pay double, I’ll forget about it. Anyway, I assure him (Wongchuking) that if someone in power pursues the case, I can always pardon him,” he said.

Mr. Duterte said Wongchuking should give P1 billion to Basilan through Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial and “not to me.”

“I want to fix the hospital there. P1 billion for Jolo (also) because I also want to fix the hospital there. Then in Manila, P1 billion for Mary Johnston Hospital in Tondo. Three billion and we’re settled. Tell him,” the President said during a visit to Bansalan, Davao del Sur province.

He said that was his counterproposal.


Warehouse raids

Raids conducted last week by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on warehouses in General Santos City and San Simon, Pampanga, yielded Mighty cigarettes with P1.1 billion in unpaid excise taxes.

Mighty cigarettes that the BOC and BIR seized on Tuesday in the ports of Cebu and Tacloban were also found to have fake tax stamps, depriving the government of P6 million in excise tax.

Last month, the BIR also confiscated Mighty cigarettes in Cebu bearing fake tax stamps, saving the company P2.49 million.

Not just tax evasion

Mr. Duterte said the case against Wongchuking was not just tax evasion.

“I said falsification. But if it was part of the tax evasion case, I will agree,” he said.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on Tuesday said that the government was preparing to file an airtight tax evasion case against Mighty.

Mr. Duterte said tax cases could be settled. “When you fail to pay your taxes, intentionally or unintentionally, you can settle it. The law allows settlements, compromise. That’s the word of the law.”

3 Mighty employees held

In Parañaque City, police arrested on Wednesday three Mighty employees caught disposing of several boxes of cigarettes.

Members of Bantay Kalikasan from the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) saw a white L300 van (UOD 472)  throwing boxes at a dump in Barangay San Isidro about 5 p.m.

The case investigator, SPO1 Walter Dulawan, said the suspects—Elmer Quintero (driver), 46; Jun Mar Luna, 24, and  John Rey Linatoc, 28—were brought to Parañaque police station for questioning.

All three were employees of Mighty on Km. 23, West Service Road, in Barangay Cupang, Muntinlupa.

They were caught throwing away several boxes of Chelsea, King and Marvel—brands under Marvel Corp., said Cenro chief Bernardo Amurao.

Amurao said Cenro had collected at least 20 sacks of cigarettes cut into pieces.

Senior Supt. Jemar Modequillo, Parañaque police chief, said the three were facing charges for violating City Ordinance 05-018, or Waste Segregation Act.

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Amurao said the three suspects were released after a Mighty representative paid the P5,000 fine for violating illegal dumping on second offense. WITH A REPORT FROM DEXTER CABALZA IN MANILA

TAGS: Mighty Corp., Tax evasion

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