Jetti Petroleum to sue outgoing Customs chief for ‘maligning’ firm’s reputation
MANILA, Philippines—Independent player Jetti Petroleum plans to file a case against former Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez for “maligning” and “tarnishing” the name of the oil company with a P4-billion smuggling case slapped against it.
In a briefing on Thursday, Jetti Petroleum president Joselito Tibayan Magalona said this was the only way they could clear the name of the oil company, as he stressed that Jetti was not an oil smuggler and possessed all the necessary documents to disprove and refute the allegations made by the Bureau of Customs (BoC).
“We have not cheated the government of any tax or duty. We owe the government nothing. We have carefully scoured our records pertaining to the importation in question and we verified that all are above board and in order. We have the receipts to prove the payment of taxes and duties,” Magalona said.
It was only last week that Alvarez announced in a press briefing that the BoC had filed a P4.1-billion smuggling case against the company and its officials for allegedly failing to pay the correct amount of duties on oil products it imported over a 12-month period beginning June 2010.
“What has taken us more than a decade of hard work to build, Alvarez took only one press conference to destroy. Jetti is already a victim as it is, of trial by publicity, of a vicious demolition job. Alvarez has inflicted irreparable damage upon the company, its reputation and good name. What we can only do now, as we try to do today, is to merely mitigate that damage and prejudice,” Magalona added.
According to Magalona, the company’s legal counsel has yet to determine the specific case it plans to file as Jetti has yet to receive a copy of the case lodged against it.
“We therefore would like nothing better than to receive Alvarez’s complaint so that we can promptly respond and refute his charges…so that we can confirm its utter lack of basis and merit…so that we can confirm his bad faith, malice and ill-will against our company and our persons. Then we will hold him responsible for this grave injustice. We will hold him to task,” Magalona firmly said.
According to Magalona, Alvarez may have just scrambled to look for customs violators during his last week in the office “to lift his position” before he makes his exit.
Jetti is an all-Filipino corporation that has sought to provide Filipinos with quality petroleum products at reasonable prices, according to Magalona.
“Indeed, it has done just that over the past 13 years of its existence. By providing an alternative to and competition against the traditional big players in the oil industry, Jetti has made and continues to make positive contributions to the everyday lives of our countrymen,” Magalona said.
“Through those years, Jetti has been a responsible, law-abiding corporate citizen: dutifully paying all its obligations to government; a responsible business partner to its creditors and suppliers; a good employer; a company that reaches out and improves lives in its communities. For instance, just this year alone, from January to June 2011, Jetti has paid around P471 Million in VAT (value added tax) and excise taxes,” he further disclosed.
Magalona said Jetti was even awarded by the Bureau of Internal Revenue District Office in Mindanao with the recognition “Best VAT Payer of Year” as the company’s total VAT payments outranked all other businesses in that district.
The company has also been awarded certificates of appreciation by Customs Collection District 10 at the Port of Cagayan de Oro for the company’s invaluable support and contribution to the Customs District’s collections in 2008 and for making it to the list of Top Ten Importers in 2009.
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