Mikey, wife still no shows at DOJ tax evasion hearing

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2011 06:39 PM | Updated as of May 27 2011 05:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Ang Galing Pinoy Party-list representative and former presidential son Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo and wife, Ma. Angela Arroyo, are still in the United States, thus, still unable to file their respective counter-affidavits or joint counter-affidavit on a P73.85-million tax evasion case slapped against them by the Bureau of Internal Revenue(BIR).

The Department of Justice(DOJ) resumed its preliminary investigation hearings Thursday on the charges.

Arroyo counsel Atty. Ruy Rondain, who entered a special appearance on behalf of the couple, however maintained the congressman and his wife filed their annual income tax returns(ITR) and paid the corresponding income taxes for the years in question in the BIR complaint. Rep. Arroyo was charged for non-filing of ITR's for taxable years 2005, 2008 and 2009, while Mrs. Arroyo allegedly did not file her ITR's from 2003 to 2009.

"Hindi lang nagbayad, nagfile. Pati yung sinasabi nilang(BIR) missing ITR's, na-file yun pero sasagutin na lang yun dun sa counter affidavit. Hintayin na lang natin yung counter affidavit," Rondain said.

Rondain assured the Arroyos will be back in the country on June 17th, in time for the next scheduled DOJ preliminary investigation hearing on June 27.

"May reasonable assurance na a counter-affidavit will be filed," Rondain said.

The DOJ panel handling the case, composed of Senior State Prosecutor Lagrimas Agaran, chair, and Assistant State Prosecutors Mederlyn Mangalindan and Ma. Cristina Barot, members, gave the Arroyos up to June 27 to file their counter-affidavit(s), without extension. Should the couple still fail to file their counter-affidavit(s) on said day, the case shall be deemed submitted for resolution.

"This will be the last time that we will be granting the filing of the counter-affidavit," Agaran said.

In the event the Arroyos decide not to file counter-affidavit(s), Rondain said they shall be agreeable to the case's submission for resolution.

The BIR reserved the right to file a reply affidavit 10 days after the submission of the Arroyos' counter-affidavit(s), while Rondain reserved the right to file a rejoinder 10 days after the BIR's submission of reply affidavit.

The panel said parties may submit their memoranda and other pleadings not later than July 15th, after which no pleadings shall be entertained.