Friday July 20, 2018

Cases against 2 BDO branches dismissed

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the criminal complaint Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña filed against two branches of BDO Unibank for insufficient evidence and lack of probable cause.

According to two resolutions dated Nov. 29, Osmeña failed to present other documents as evidence to prove his accusations that BDO Unibank failed to declare their correct gross annual income.

When sought for comment, City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez said they have yet to receive a copy of the resolutions, which SunStar Cebu obtained from a local radio station.

“We will not comment further on it because as policy of our office, we can’t release statement regarding the case if the documents are not officially received by us,” he told SunStar Cebu.

Osmeña has yet to issue a statement since he is in Manila to attend a public hearing before the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Last January, the mayor lodged a complaint before the Office of the City Prosecutor against BDO Magallanes-Plaridel branch for alleged tax fraud after it declared a gross annual revenue of P400,000 in 2016.

For the Magallanes-Plaridel alone, Osmeña only showed as evidence a business permit for 2015 showing gross sales, receipts, capital investments of P4,449,824.94, application for business permit for 2016 and business permit for 2016 showing gross sales, receipts, capital investments of P400,057.22.

The charges against BDO included “other deceits” and “falsification by private individuals,” which are prohibited under the Revised Penal Code and for violation of the Cebu City Tax Ordinance.

In his complaint-affidavit, Osmeña said the branch declared an “unbelievable” monthly gross receipts of P33,330 for 2016.

He said that it was alarming because, by simple comparative analysis, it was highly unlikely for government banks like Land Bank of the Philippines to have higher gross sales than private banks like BDO.

The mayor also filed the same complaints against the BDO Osmeña Blvd. branch.

In the resolution, DOJ said that since Osmeña failed to present more evidence, the complaint he filed was based on “assumptions and conjectures” that BDO falsified their business permit application.

Although the Magallanes-Plaridel branch posted a decline in gross sales from 2015 to 2016, it was not sufficient to prove that respondents willfully falsified its application for a business permit for 2016, it said.

In his affidavit, Joseph Tan, manager of the Magallanes-Plaridel branch, attributed the drop to the branch’s lower value of income-generating transaction.

“The complaint must at least show before this office how the respondent committed an offense of other deceits and falsification,” read a portion of the resolution.