THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has formed a three-man panel of prosecutors to look into the P9.564-billion tax evasion case filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against Mighty Corporation.
The committee is composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Sebastian Caponong Jr. as the chair, with Assistant State Prosecutors Maria Lourdes Uy and Mary Ann Parong.
There is no information yet on when the preliminary investigation will begin.
The BIR last March 22 slapped with tax evasion charges some of Mighty Corporation's top executives, namely assistant corporate secretary Alexander Wongchuking, executive vice president Edilberto Adan, vice president for external affairs Oscar Barrientos, and treasurer Ernesto Victa.
They are charged "for unlawful possession of Articles subject to excise tax without payment of the tax and for possessing fake tax stamps in violation of Section 263 and 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997."
The filing came following the BIR's raid on Mighty Corporation's four warehouses in San Isidro, Pampanga, wherein fake tax stamps were seized.
The issue on Mighty's alleged tax violations was put in the limelight after President Rodrigo Duterte's statement ordering the arrest of Alexander Wongchuking for economic sabotage.
Before the filing of the charges, the President asked the owner of the tobacco firm to pay the government P3 billion as settlement for its then P1 billion tax liabilities.
The corporate owners of Mighty acceded to Duterte's orders, but the agreement was immediately set aside following the BIR's filing detailing that the tax liabilities of Mighty is not P1 billion, but P9.56 billion. (SunStar Philippines)