VACC to gov’t: No deal with Mighty | Inquirer News

VACC to gov’t: No deal with Mighty

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 12:49 AM May 22, 2017

A group of anticorruption advocates on Sunday called on the government not to entertain any compromise deal with homegrown cigarette maker Mighty Corp., whose top executives were facing investigation for alleged nonpayment of P36.5 billion in excise taxes on its cigarette products.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) also urged the Duterte administration to revoke the business license of Mighty to send a stern warning to all tax evaders.


President Duterte previously said he was willing to drop the criminal cases against Mighty owner Alexander Wongchuking if he would pay P3 billion, or double of what Mighty allegedly offered the government as settlement for its tax liabilities.

But Dante Jimenez, VACC founding chair, said such an arrangement was “simply unacceptable” since Mighty’s actual tax liabilities could be more than tenfold of what Mr. Duterte had asked from Wongchuking as computed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).


Instead of entering into a compromise agreement, he said the government might allow Mighty to settle its tax deficiencies through staggered payment, a proposal which the Chief Executive had already thumbed down.

“We, in the VACC, believe that … the assessed tax liability … should be collected in full. There should be no compromise when it comes to tax collections because our government needs money now more than ever,” Jimenez added.

The VACC leader said the money which the BIR could collect from Mighty would be put to good use by funding the President’s “Build, Build, Build” program to usher in the country’s “golden age of infrastructure.”

The BIR has filed two separate tax evasion cases with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Wongchuking, Mighty president Edilberto Adan, vice president Oscar Barrientos and treasurer Ernesto Victa.

On March, the BIR lodged a case against Mighty’s senior executives over their alleged failure to pay excise taxes amounting to P9.6 billion.

Two weeks ago, another criminal complaint was filed in the DOJ by the BIR against Mighty officials for the nonpayment of P26.93 billion in excise taxes.

In both cases, the BIR accused the Bulacan-based company of using spurious tax stamps on cigarette packs it produced which were seized by authorities in several raids on Mighty’s warehouses.

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TAGS: Alexander Wongchuking, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Mighty Corp., Philippine news updates, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption
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