MISAMIS Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano said on Monday, November 14, he will not implement the suspension order against provincial accountant Marilou Rivera even if it will expose him to sanctions.
Rivera has been ordered suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman for one year after the Ombudsman found her guilty of “oppression” and neglect of duty in connection with the collection of real property tax from Pilipinas Kao Inc. (PKI).
Emano said he is ready to face sanctions for not implementing the order as he insists Rivera did not do any unlawful action in collecting 11 years worth of unpaid real property taxes of PKI amounting to P631.5 million.
"They might suspend me as well because I will not implement your suspension order. Bahala unsay mahitabo sa ako, ma-suspend ba ko for 6 months to 1 year or lifetime I don't care but I will support you all the way (They might suspend me as well because I will not implement your suspension order. I don't care what happens to me, if I get suspended for 6 months to a year or lifetime I don't care but I will support you all the way)," Emano said during the flag raising ceremony on Monday, November 14.
Emano said the Local Government of Jasaan and the Provincial Government of Misamis Oriental will remain steadfast in collecting taxes from PKI.
The Ombudsman said Rivera had no business collecting from PKI since the firm is exempted from paying local taxes, including real property taxes, by virtue of its being covered by the Republic Act 7916 or Special Economic Zone Act.
But Emano said that, after meeting with local officials of Jasaan town last week, he learned that the former governor allegedly wrote a letter advising town officials not to collect taxes from PKI.
"2002 nagsugod na og collect ang Jasaan LGU hangtod 2003 and so on but nakurat ang LGU sa Jasaan kay gisulatan daw sila sa kanhi gobernador nga dili kolektahan og buhis ang PKI (Jasaan LGU started collecting taxes from 2002 to 2003 and so on but they were surprised when the former governor told them not to collect taxes from PKI)," Emano said.
Emano said he was also told by Jasaan officials that one of the executives of PKI was allegedly a close friend of former governor and now Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno.
Emano said he told the officials of the said town not to be afraid of collecting taxes from companies operating under their jurisdiction.
Rivera’s lawyer has already appealed the decision of the Ombudsman.