By Jun Ramirez
The Bureau of Internal Revenue welcomed on Friday the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) giving it the go-signal to collect some P40 million in deficiency income tax from the daughter of suspected “pork barrel” scam mastermind.
The court en banc announced the other day the dismissal of the petition filed by Catherine Jeane Napoles to stop the BIR from collecting the delinquent accounts.
“The court’s ruling removes all obstacle to collect back taxes from Ms. Napoles,” said a BIR litigation lawyer who declined to be named.
She is the youngest daughter of Janet Lim Napoles who is accused of diverting multi-billion-peso worth of Priority Development Assistance Fund to the pockets of some senators and congressmen.
The full court affirmed the resolution of its Second Division due to the repeated failure of Ms. Napoles and her lawyer to attend the pre-trial conference despite several postponements.
The court stated that the pre-trial conference is not only for the marking of evidence but is essential for the speedy resolution of the dispute.
The civil case is separate from the P18-million tax evasion complaint filed against her by the BIR which was dismissed last year by the tax court for insufficiency of evidence.
Both cases arose from the massive acquisition of properties by Ms. Napoles here and in the United States, including a condominium unit at the luxurious Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles, California.
Her lawyers argued earlier that she had no income and all her assets that also included expensive sports cars and jewelry were gifts from her parents for being a good daughter and an honor student in a US school.