BIR urged to probe PNP gun license delivery contractor

By Paolo Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 14 2014 09:23 AM | Updated as of Jun 14 2014 05:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Leaders of the House of Representatives have asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to look into the possible tax liabilities of a private courier firm that reportedly earned at least P100 million before the Supreme Court (SC) stopped its exclusive contract with the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Pampanga Rep. Oscar Rodriguez, chairman of the House committee on good governmnent and public accountability; and Marikina City Rep. Romero Quimbo, chairman of the ways and means committee, said there is a need for the BIR to look into the possible tax liabilities of Wer Fast Documentary Agency, Inc. (Werfast).

“The BIR should better look into the tax liabilities of this firm (Werfast),” Rodriguez said, adding that nothing can stop his committee from looking into the matter as soon as the appropriate resolution is filed.

Before adjourning on Wednesday, the House approved a resolution authorizing all its committees to conduct hearings even during the break.

Quimbo said he is looking into conducting an inquiry into the matter as the government is in need of funds and has to plug tax leakages.

Werfast is a respondent in a plunder complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman along with other top PNP officials in connection with the allegedly anomalous P100 million exclusive contract to deliver gun licenses, permits to carry, and other related documents nationwide.

Last April, the SC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) to the PNP to stop “utilizing any courier services for deliveries of approved firearms license cards.”

The company was reportedly able to conduct business since it signed an exclusive contract with the PNP in 2011 until the TRO was issued. A conservative estimate, according to the complaint of Glenn Gerard Ricafranca, is that Werfast could have earned P100 million annually based on the one million licensed gun owners in the country.

Ricafranca, in his complaint, said Werfast entered into a memorandum of agreement with the PNP on May 2011 yet the company was issued a certificate of incorporation by the Securities and Exchange Commission only on Aug. 10 that year, which means the firm did not have a juridical personality when it forged the agreement

He also said Werfast was not and has not become an authorized “private express and messengerial or courier delivery service” by the Department of Transportation and Communications to deliver mail or parcels to the public.