A CORPORATE secretary of a textile firm, who was tagged in the P73.8-million tax credit scam, asked the Supreme Court to spare her from the plunder charges filed against her and other co-accused.

The SC earlier allowed the Sandiganbayan to proceed with the hearing on the case against Grace Chingkoe. She is said to be a sister of Faustino Chingkoe, believed to be the brain behind the tax credit scam.

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They were accused of using tax credit certificates from the government which were supposed to be used by the family-owned Filstar Textile Industry Corp. to pay off its tax obligations.

In her 21-page motion for reconsideration, Grace asked the SC to set aside the decision promulgated by the Sandiganbayan ordering her arrest.

Grace was implicated in the alleged anomalous transactions in her capacity as Filstar’s corporate secretary who was responsible for the issuance of the certificate attached to its TCC applications.

However, she claimed that she was just a nominee of her brother, Felix Chingkoe, in Filstar and has no participation in its affairs, much less in the fraudulent application for tax credits.

Other accused in the plunder case include former finance undersecretary and One-Stop Shop Inter-Agency Tax Credit and Duty Drawback Center executive director Antonio Belicena, his deputy Uldarico Andutan Jr., finance department reviewer Asuncion Magdaet, tax specialist Rowena Malonzo and private defendant Filstar representative Catalina Aranas Bautista and couple Faustino and Gloria Chingkoe.

In its July 19 resolution, the SC affirmed Grace’s indictment as one of the accused in the tax credit scam and affirmed the validity of arrest order issued against her.

The Office Ombudsman accused Grace of defrauding the government of some P73.76 million representing the value of 28 TCCs granted to Filstar Textile Industrial Corp. from 1995 to 1997 but was instead used but were fraudulently transferred to oil companies Petron Corp. and Pilipinas Shell as payment for fuel excise tax. (JCV/Sunnex)