Manny Pacquiao tax case dropped by Department of Justice

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has junked the case filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.

In an eight-page resolution, the DOJ called it absurd to hold Pacquiao liable for neglecting to obey a BIR subpoena which he did not receive at all.

The DOJ agreed with the respondent that there was no valid service of the subpoena duces tecum upon him.

The Justice Department said the allegation of BIR Officer, Abdul Jalil J. Taratingan, that he personally delivered the subpoena in General Santos City, received by a certain Jocelyn Nebria, is contrary to Revenue Memorandum Order No. 88-2010 which requires for a personal service to the person being summoned.

“It is only upon refusal of the person being summoned to receive the subpoena that a substituted service can be availed,” said the DOJ.

The DOJ ruled that since there was no refusal on the part of Pacquiao to receive the subpoena, the BIR case is irregular and ineffectual.

“The service of summons is, indeed, a vital and indispensable ingredient of due process. Such denial of respondent’s vital right constitutes a serious infirmity in the proceedings which led to the filing of this case against him,” the DOJ said in its resolution.

Pacquiao’s legal counsel, Atty. Abraham G. Espejo, expressed his gratitude to the DOJ.

“Congressman Pacquiao is and will continue to be a law abiding Filipino citizen,” said Espejo.

The BIR has accused Pacquiao of violating Section 266 of Republic Act 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines.

BIR regional director Rozil Lozares claimed that Pacquiao snubbed the bureau’s summons to present his tax records to the agency.

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