Mighty Corporation rebuts fake stamps allegation
Mighty Corporation (MC), the country’s oldest Filipino-owned cigarette manufacturer that is locked in a tough competition against a multinational tobacco company, on Wednesday strongly denied it is using fake stamps in its operation.
“Our operation is transparent and closely monitored by revenue authorities from sourcing of raw materials to manufacturing and withdrawals of cigarettes,” said retired Regional Trial Court judge Oscar P. Barrientos, MC executive vice president and spokesperson.
“In fact, our company’s operation is the only one monitored by close-circuit cameras required by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and it’s also on record that MC has spearheaded the campaign all over the country against the proliferation of fake cigarettes using fake stamps,” he said.
Barrientos was reacting to a story ran by Inquirer in its Jan. 25, 2017 issue quoting BIR Commissioner Cesar Dulay as saying that “BIR is investigating homegrown cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. for allegedly using fake tax stamps on its products.”
Barrientos said that as of today (Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2017), MC has not received any notice of investigation by the BIR and if ever there will be, “we are prepared for it as our records are always open for scrutiny by the BIR.”
“We are hoping that if ever this is done, BIR should include in its investigation not only local manufacturers but also multinational companies and their local partners who are known for importing large quantities of raw materials without paying the correct taxes to the prejudice of our local farmers,” Barrientos said.
“It’s on records that as early as two years ago, Mighty has coordinated with BIR, Bureau of Customs, police and the National Bureau of Investigation in the seizures of fake Mighty cigarettes and other brands and the arrest and indictment of persons involved in the smuggling, manufacturing and marketing of contraband cigarettes,” Barrientos said.
According to Barrientos, Mighty has been subjected to unfair publicity by its rivals after its products, known for their smooth and superior blending, eat a large share of their market in the low-priced category once dominated by multinational rivals who remit abroad a large part of their income to the prejudice of the Philippine economy.
Two years ago, a ranking member of Congress had requested then Customs Commissioner John Sevilla to look into the highly irregular release of 500 containers of raw materials for the manufacturing of cigarettes from the customs zone in Manila.
The investigation, involving a multinational company, was never heard of again, Barrientos said.
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