DOJ okays indictment of Corona son-in-law for tax evasion

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 26 2014 01:21 PM | Updated as of Mar 26 2014 09:21 PM

MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to indict Dr. Constantino Castillo, son-in-law of of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, for tax evasion.

In a 20-page resolution dated February 20 but released to the media only on Wednesday, investigating prosecutors Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela and Assistant State Prosecutors Mark Roland Estepa and Jayvee Laurence Bandong recommended Castillo's indictment for a total tax liability of P25.741 million.

The alleged tax deficiency covers taxable years 2003 and 2009.

The DOJ said Castillo, husband of Corona's eldest daughter, Carla, did not declare any income nor filed any income tax return (ITR) for 2003 but was able to purchase a P10.5-million property in Molave Street in Quezon City.

The resolution further states that Castillo bought another property worth P15 million in Kalayaan Avenue, Quezon City in 2009, but declared income of only P988,711 for the said year.

"In short, his expenses outweigh his income, which is illogical unless he has undeclared income," the resolution read.

In his defense, Castillo pointed out that he did not file any return for 2003 because he had no taxable income to report that year.

Castillo explained that he was then reviewing for his Urology Board Exams.

As for 2009, Castillo told the DOJ panel that the Kalayaan property was covered by a bank loan and additional fund, and not stated in his ITR since loan proceeds and personal borrowings "are not considered income under existing laws."

The DOJ panel was not convinced.

The resolution against Castillo was approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.

Prior to the finding of probable cause against Castillo, the DOJ also indicted Chief Justice Corona for a P120 million tax liability.

The tax complaint against Carla Corona has yet to be resolved by the department.