Mikey Arroyo, wife arraignment postponed
The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has moved to early next year the arraignment of Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo and his wife, Maria Angela, in connection with a P73-million tax evasion case.
In a news release, Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares on Monday said the tax court granted the petition of the elder son of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and his wife to suspend their arraignment originally set for October 28.
The Arroyos had sought the postponement of the court proceeding pending resolution of a motion for reconsideration they filed in the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Henares said the CTA reset the arraignment for Jan. 12, 2012.
The Arroyo couple had also asked the court for permission to leave for the United States.
In a September 16 resolution, a panel of DOJ prosecutors recommended the filing of multiple counts of tax evasion against Arroyo and his wife for their alleged failure to submit income tax returns with the Bureau of Internal Revenue during his mother’s presidency.
The BIR complaint could result in the first criminal case against the Arroyos after President Aquino announced last month the government would start prosecuting them by 2012.
The DOJ panel, led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Lagrimas Agaran, recommended the indictment of the young Arroyo for three counts of tax evasion or violation of Section 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code, while his wife was charged with seven counts of failure to file income tax returns.
Arroyo was also charged with three counts of “failure to supply correct and accurate information” on his tax returns from 2004 to 2006.
The prosecutors also held that the tax investigators appropriately used the “Al Capone” system, or the net worth method, in determining the P73.85 million tax liability of the Arroyos.
Using this method, BIR tax assessors sum up all the assets of the taxpayer and subtract all his or her liabilities to calculate the net worth.
Arroyo has denied defrauding the government of millions of pesos in income tax, claiming that the filing of the tax suit against them was part of “the President’s marching orders against our family.”
“This administration has not hidden its intent to put us behind bars and this is one of them,” Arroyo said in a previous statement.
“But we always believe in the rule of law and we will face the charges head-on because my conscience is clear. In the end, I know we will be vindicated and justice will be served,” he said.
Originally posted: 4:12 pm | Monday, November 7th, 2011