MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has affirmed the P40.028-million tax deficiency of Jeane Napoles, the youngest daughter of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles.
Jeane had filed a petition before the CTA questioning the assessment of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that she has tax deficiencies worth P40.028 million, but the court junked it for “utter lack of merit.”
“The Petition for Review filed by Jeane Catherine Napoles is hereby denied for utter lack of merit,” said the en banc in a decision promulgated October 29, a copy of which was released to media on Thursday, November 8.
The decision was penned by Associate Justice Esperanza Fabon-Victorino, with concurrences from Presiding Justice Roman Del Rosario and Associate Justices Juanito Castaneda Jr, Ma Belen Ringpis-Liban, and Catherine Manahan.
Jeane is the youngest daughter of alleged pork barrel scam queen Janet Napoles.
What about her acquittal?
In December 2017, the CTA 3rd Division dismissed the tax evasion case against Jeane involving the same property – a condominium unit at the Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles.
The CTA 3rd Division dismissed the case for insufficiency of evidence.
While her criminal case was ongoing, Jeane filed a separate protest before the CTA 2nd Division questioning the BIR’s assessment of her tax deficiency. That protest became the civil case that went up all the way to the en banc.
In an ironic twist, the en banc junked Jeane’s protest for her own camp’s shortcomings in attending the hearings.
“Obedience to the requirements of procedural rules is needed if we are to expect fair results therefrom, and utter disregard of the rules cannot justly be rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal construction,” said the CTA en banc.
Following the latest CTA decision, there is currently no impediment for the government to collect payment from Jeane.
Depending on Jeane’s legal strategies, this may prompt another string of litigation as she may use the dismissal of her criminal case to avoid payment.
Meanwhile, because of the dismissal of her tax evasion case, Jeane started claiming the refund of her travel and bail bonds from when trial was still ongoing. She is now able to move freely.
Jeane, her siblings James Cristopher and Jo Christine, and their mother Janet were all recently indicted by the US Justice Department for domestic and international money laundering, for allegedly using properties in the US to park and conceal money earned from the pork barrel scam.
The scam involved government officials and lawmakers who allegedly earned hefty kickbacks by channeling their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to ghost projects implemented by bogus nongovernmental organizations ran by Janet Napoles.
Janet and former senator Bong Revilla will be read their verdict in their plunder cases on December 7, 4 years after the scam was exposed. – Rappler.com