Panel formed to probe Corona tax evasion case-A A +A
Friday, September 7, 2012
MANILA -- A three-man panel of prosecutors was formed to check if there are enough grounds to forward to the court the P150-million tax evasion case filed against former Chief Justice Renato Corona and two relatives last week.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Roseanne Balauag will head the panel organized by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano. She will be assisted by lawyers Roland Estepa and Javee Laurence Bandong.
Earlier, Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan said the panel may be able to produce its findings in 60 days, which will be cleared with Secretary Leila de Lima.
The case was filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has the option to junk or pursue it in any trial court.
According to the BIR, Corona deliberately failed to pay P120.5 million in taxes as a result of his acquisition of pricey condominium units and a house during his 10-year stint at the Supreme Court.
Also charged before the DOJ is Corona's daughter Carla for violating section 254 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) or attempting to evade or defeat taxes in 2010 and violating section 255 or failing to file an income tax return for the same year.
Her husband Constantino Castillo III is likewise cited for evading taxes in 2003 and 2009 and failing to file an ITR in 2003. Both have an accumulated income of less than P3 million yet they were able to buy P43.5-million worth of properties in Quezon City.
Castillo's tax deficiency was pegged at P20.25 million and P9.93 million for his wife. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)