Former Shell execs file perjury raps vs. ex-BoC officials, media person
Former officials of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. have filed a criminal complaint against former Bureau of Customs (BoC) officials and a Batangas-based media practitioner over the latter’s allegations of dodging taxes and duties on raw material imports of the oil giant.
In a press statement, former Shell executives Nigel Avila, Roberto Kanapi and Edgar Chua said they filed perjury complaints last January 4, 2017 at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office against former Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales, former Port of Batangas Collector Juan Tan and Batangas-based media person Lourdes Aclan for “lying under oath.”
“[They] could be charged with four counts of perjury, a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment,” the statement said.
In their complaint, the former Shell executives claim that the respondents “willfully made blatant false statements” in accusing them of illegal importation and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act in a complaint filed with the Ombudsman last September 14, 2016.
Morales, Tan and Aclan named the former Shell executives in relation to the firm’s non-payment of taxes supposedly due from the company’s past importations of catalytic cracked gasoline and light catalytic cracked gasoline (CCG/LCCG) and alkylate. They also included in the complaint former President Benigno Aquino and former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima for allowing the Shell to execute the imports.
The former Shell executives pointed out that the respondents did not submit any proof to support their allegations which they describe as “all perjuries, outright lies and patently untrue”.
In claiming that Aquino and Purisima abetted the non-payment of taxes, the executives pointed out that former government officials could not have taken any action on the issue since it has been pending with the Court of Tax Appeals since February 2010 — four months before both officials took office.
In the affidavit of the former Shell executives, they insisted that Shell dutifully complied with the prevailing rules and regulations, promulgated by the Bureau of Internal Revenue from 2003 to 2009, which Morales and Tan themselves implemented, being tax collecting agents of the BIR.
They said that Morales and Tan “appeared to have changed and made their own interpretation of the rules” in insisting that double excise taxes be imposed on Shell’s raw material importations, and retroactively at that.
The former Shell officials also emphasized the convenient omission by the respondents in not telling the Ombudsman about the subsequent collection efforts that the respondent Tan, himself, pursued against the firm. This dragged the issue to the Court of Tax Appeals and eventually, the Supreme Court.
“One can only guess at the motives of Morales, Tan and Aclan in filing this case and committing perjury in the process,” the statement said.
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