MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The tax evasion case against Jeane Napoles, daughter of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, has been dismissed, court records show.
In a resolution released Wednesday, December 6, the Court of Tax Appeals dismissed the tax evasion case against the younger Napoles for “insufficiency of evidence.”
“The prosecution failed to prove that there is any income tax due from accused, creating reasonable doubt as to the guilt of the accused,” the court said.
“The Court finds that the evidence presented is not sufficient to sustain a conviction of accused since the prosecution failed to discharge the burden to prove all the essential elements of the crimes attributed to accused,” it continued.
The case stemmed from the assessment of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), with the approval of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which found that Jeane did not pay P17 million in taxes.
According to the BIR, Jeane failed to pay the taxes due for ownership of a luxurious apartment in Los Angeles, California and a farm lot in Bayambang, Pangasinan. (READ: Why the Napoles children are co-accused in the pork barrel scam)
But defense lawyers argued that she was just a student with no income, that she received the property as a gift, and that the case was moot after her mother was taxed in 2016 for the sale of the condominium.
The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Lovell Bautista of the court’s 3rd Division. Associate Justices Esperanza Fabon-Victorino and Maria Belen Ringpis-Liban concurred.
The full text of the decision is below.