MANILA, Philippines?(UPDATE) Justice Secretary Leila De Lima ordered the refiling of tax evasion case against bus-company owner Claire de la Fuente for failure to pay the necessary taxes from 1997 to 2004 amounting to P417, 786,376.21.
In a four-page resolution, the DoJ reversed the findings of former Justice Secretary Alberto Agra who ordered the withdrawal of criminal case against De la Fuente.
Agra, last May 10, issued a resolution granting the motion for reconsideration filed by De la Fuente after giving credence to her claim that she was no longer the treasurer and officer-in-charge of the Philippine Corinthian Corp. (PCLC).
Agra ordered the withdrawal of the case against De la Fuente before the Tax Court but the DoJ ordered the reinvestigation of the case pursuant to DoJ Circular No. 70. Upon reinvestigation, De Lima ordered a reversal of Agra?s resolution.
In reversing the decision, De Lima said there is probable cause to proceed with the cases ?by reason of her position in the PCLC, and her active participation in running the affairs of the corporation, she cannot feign ignorance of PCLC?s omission under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC). Indeed, respondent is the president and treasurer of PCLC and appears responsible for the violation.?
?This development is but another affirmative step that we, in the DoJ, have taken to clearly convey to the public our earnest determination to intensify prosecution of tax evasion cases, especially where probable cause clearly exists. It?s our contribution to the government?s effort to improve revenue collection,? De Lima said.
Records showed that De la Fuente, together with her late husband, Moises de Guzman, failed to register their business PCLC with the appropriate Revenue District Office.