Jeane Napoles refuses to enter plea in tax evasion case

By Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 08 2015 02:57 PM | Updated as of Jul 08 2015 10:57 PM

MANILA - Jeane Catherine Napoles, daughter of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, refused to enter a plea during her arraignment for a P17.4 million tax evasion case at the Court of Tax Appeals.

The refusal of Napoles to enter a plea prompted CTA 3rd Division Associate Justice Esperanza Fabon-Victorino to enter a ''not guilty'' plea on her behalf.

The younger Napoles was earlier charged with tax evasion after she failed to file income tax returns in 2011 and 2012.

The younger Napoles supposedly bought a condominium unit at the Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles, California for $1,280,000 (P54.73 million) in July 2011.

Her tax liability has ballooned to about P32 million due to non-payment and interest.

Napoles' lawyers agreed to the arraignment without prejudice to their pending motion for reconsideration.

In an interview after the arraignment, Napoles lawyer Stephen David reiterated their point that Napoles is unemployed and is therefore not required to pay income tax.

Napoles is also facing another tax case, which is for the non-filing of income tax returns (ITR). She also refused to enter a plea in that case. The two tax cases are now consolidated at the 3rd Division.

At the height of the pork barrel scam, the younger Napoles was criticized after she was seen flaunting her lavish lifestyle via social media amid allegations that her mother stole public funds by forging illegal deals with lawmakers.