City Hall officer ‘pockets’ P202T-A A +A
Saturday, October 5, 2013
A FORMER revenue officer in Cebu City is facing criminal and administrative cases in court for allegedly pocketing P202,500 intended as payment for taxes in 2010.
The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas filed cases of estafa through falsification of official document (violation of the Revised Penal Code) and violation of Sec. 3019 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Mae Cheryl Enguio.
Enguio was revenue officer of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) District 82.
Maria Regina Fernandez, graft investigation and prosecution officer, recommended the filing of the cases before the Regional Trial Court against Enguio, who was also dismissed from the service for serious dishonesty.
“Regrettably, she fell extremely short of standards, which should have governed her life as a public servant,” read Fernandez’s decision.
The ombudsman recommended P30,000 bail for her graft case and another P40,000 for estafa.
The case stemmed from the graft and misconduct charges, in relation to Section 269 of Republic Act 9424 (Tax Reform Act of 1997), that the BIR Region 13 filed against Enguio.
Enguio’s modus was discovered after the BIR’s Special Investigation Division looked into the reported non-remittance of tax payments to the agency’s coffer.
Francis Fabian Borromeo paid the capital gains tax and documentary stamp tax on the sale of his condominium unit at the City Lights Garden Tower II in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
Borromeo said he sold his unit to the RAF Realty Enterprises for P4.5 million.
Since the buyer, Rosalia Foulds, wanted to expedite the transfer of title, Borromeo looked for someone at the BIR who could speed up the transfer of the title, including payments of taxes on transfer, registration and clearances.
A certain Matthew Aparte told Borromeo to contact Enguio to secure the BIR tax clearance and certificate authorizing the registration for the transfer of his condominium unit.
Borromeo gave Enguio P202,500 as payment for the required taxes and certificates.
On Feb. 24, 2010, Borromeo received the new owner’s duplicate condominium certificate of title in the buyer’s name, capital gains tax returns, documentary stamp tax returns, real property tax clearance and the deed of absolute sale.
In March 2010, Borromeo said he received a letter from Revenue District Officer Maria Socorro Lozano informing him that he has not paid the capital gains tax worth P520,312.
Borromeo told Enguio about the letter, but the latter advised him to ignore it since everything was settled.
On Sept. 6, 2010, Borromeo said he received a text message from his buyer who informed him that she received a letter from the BIR’s Special Investigation Division asking for documents on the sale of the unit.
Borromeo said they tried to contact Enguio, to no avail. BIR investigating officer Roger Lusares showed Borromeo the documentary stamp tax return showing that the payment of P103,000 was made only in May 2010.
Borromeo told the BIR he already paid everything, adding that he was even issued a certificate authorizing registration and tax clearance certificate from the BIR.
The BIR Special Investigation Division summoned Enguio for an investigation, but she failed to attend.
The anti-graft office also directed Enguio to submit her counter-affidavit, but she also failed to do so. It was later learned that Enguio had resigned.
In the decision, graft investigator Fernandez said Enguio was unauthorized to receive tax payments from taxpayers since her position at that time was a computer operator.
Fernandez said the respondent made it appear on falsified capital gains tax returns and documentary stamp tax returns and Landbank tax deposit slips that payments were received by BIR.
Her failure to appear in the BIR’s investigation led to the presumption that she misappropriated the money, the ombudsman said.
The BIR also discovered that Enguio also duped other taxpayers into believing that she paid the money they entrusted to her as payment for the tax dues.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 06, 2013.