Formal Graft Complaints vs Aquino, Purisima Filed at the Office of Ombudsman

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Graft, corruption and smuggling complaint was filed by former Bureau of Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales and former Customs district collector Atty. Juan Tan against former president Benigno Aquino III.

Also part of the complaint was former Department of Finance secretary Cesar Purisima and some officials of Bureau of Customs and Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation.

Based on the complaint, the said officials neglected and failed to collect the 100 billion-peso tax from Shell.

The complaint stemmed in 2004 when Shell started not to pay taxes on imported gasoline products in Batangas port.

Shell said, the blending component or chemical used in making gasoline is not subject to taxes.

But the Custom officials found out that instead of gasoline, Shell declared the imported chemicals as catalytic cracked gasoline, light catalytic cracked gasoline and alkylate to avoid paying taxes.

Tan said, this is contrary to what Shell has been doing since 2001 up to 2004 wherein they paid taxes on imported gasoline and chemicals.

Tan clarified that there is no order from the Customs that blending components are exempted on the excise tax.

In over six years, the uncollected taxes ballooned to 100 billion pesos.

“That’s the money of the government and it must be on the national treasury. For more than 6 years, the money is still with Shell and they use it,” Tan said.

The case has reached the Court of Tax Appeals but has not been resolved.

The respondents also give a letter to Purisima and Aquino but the said officials ignore the letter.

“They did not act on the case to get the money. The money is just there. Purisima answered and said that the matter is still with the level of the district collector. Meaning, they don’t have any interest to collect the money,” added Tan.

Shell Corporation and the camp of former president Aquino refuse to give a statement and will study the complaint first. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

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