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BIR urged to reconsider bid to cancel Mighty’s license over tax case

/ 05:09 PM April 24, 2017
Alex Wong Chu King Reynaldo Esmeralda

FILE – Mighty Corp. Owner Alex Wong Chu King with former NBI deputy director Reynaldo Esmeralda arrives at the NBI after an alleged 2 billion worth of cigarettes were seized by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and later by the Bureau of Internal Revenue in a raid last Wednesday at their warehouse at San Simon Industrial Park in Pampanga. Wong Chu King has denied that the cigarette were fake. Marianne Bermudez/INQUIRER

Mighty Corporation on Monday urged the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to reconsider its statement threatening to cancel the tobacco company’s license to operate over tax evasion charges.

In a statement, Mighty Corp. executive vice president Oscar Barrientos called on the BIR to “act more responsibly in making statements” and “take into consideration the repercussions of a cancellation of the license of the company.”

READ: BIR may close down Mighty factory for tax evasion

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“The BIR should consider that this case impacts Mighty Corp.’s employees, tobacco farmers and their families, as well as suppliers and distributors who depend on the company,” Barrientos said.

“We reiterate our pledge to fully cooperate with the government. But while we welcome the filing of these charges as an opportunity to clear the name of the company and its officers, we hope the BIR will also show prudence in the conduct of its probe of the company,” he added.

Barrientos was reacting to the statement made by BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay last week that the agency was “looking at” and “working on” the cancellation of Mighty’s license to operate, which he said “will not go beyond next month.”

BIR was preparing to file at least three more cases against mighty within the month at the earliest for unlawful possession of fake cigarette stamps. Mighty had been slapped with a P9.6-billion tax evasion case last month.

“If you recall, the Bureau of Customs canceled their (Mighty’s) authority to import, their license to import the raw materials. And you could imagine that within the next two or three months if you don’t have the import license, if you don’t have importation of raw materials, how do you manufacture your cigarettes?” Dulay said.

Barrientos said about 7,000 Mighty employees and 55,000 tobacco farmers would be affected by a possible cancellation of license. YG

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