BIR files tax case against ex-Ampatuan lawyer
MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday, January 3, filed a tax evasion case against the former lawyer of Zaldy Ampatuan, one of the suspects in the 2009 Maguindanao massacre.
The BIR said lawyer Redemberto Villanueva incurred a total tax liablility of P36.93 million, inclusive of interests and surchages, for the years 2010 and 2011. BIR commissioner Kim Henares said Villanueva paid an income tax of P110,788 in 2010, but bought land in Dasmariñas, Makati, worth P58.47 million and a parking space at Eisenhower condominium worth P0.55 million on the same year.
In 2011, he purchased a property in Eastwood Lafayette, Quezon City, worth P2.62 million and an Eisenhower condominium in San Juan worth P2.56 million. He also had additional expenses worth P5.28 million but only paid an income tax of P3,743.20.
"He substantially underdeclared his income by 11,090.36% in 2010 and by 89.22% in 2011," the BIR said.
Villanueva used to be a lawyer of Zaldy Ampatuan, ex-governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. An Abs-cbn report said that Villanueva was reportedly given P50 million by Zaldy to allegedly bribe the judges so they would exclude the latter and his father Andal Amapatuan Sr. from the list of suspects in the Maguindanao case. Villanueva withdrew as Zaldy's legal counsel in 2012.
Villanueva is at present the counsel of Osric Cabrera, one of the suspects in the murder of US Marine Geroge Anikow in Makati.
The BIR also earlier filed tax evasion charges against another Ampatuan lawyer, Arnel Cortex Manaloto for having deficiency taxes worth P27.56 million.
Manaloto is the lawyer of Zaldy's brother Andal Ampatuan Jr., who also faces murder raps for the death of 58 people in Maguindanao, 34 of whom are journalists.
Henares denied they were zeroing in on Ampatuan's lawyers. She said the "trigger" of their investigation was the information they had gathered on their gross income declarations.
Henares said though that they probed Villanueva upon receiving information that Zaldy Ampatuan was seen at one of the properties that the the lawyer supposedly owned.
Aside from Villanueva, the BIR also filed a tax evasion case against gold trader Teofilo T. Oraa for under-declaring his sales by P1.114 billion in 2009. Oraa sold to BSP refined gold and silver worth P1.116 billion in the said year but only delcared P0.64 million on his income tax return.
Oraa also falied to pay taxes worth P731.67 million in 2009. - Rappler.com