Ligots ordered arrested for tax evasion

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 28 2011 11:30 AM | Updated as of Oct 29 2011 12:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has ordered the arrest of former military comptroller Jacinto Ligot and wife, Erlinda, on tax evasion charges.

In a 3-page resolution promulgated on September 28, the tax appeals court's Second Division composed of Associate Justices Juanito Castañeda, Jr., Caesar Casanova,  and Cielito Grulla, upheld the finding of probable cause by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against the Ligot couple for a total tax deficiency of P153.20 million, exclusive of interest and penalty charges for taxable year 2003.

"The findings of the state prosecutor on the existence of probable cause that justifies the filing of an information against the accused must be accorded great weight. Jurisprudence states that if the information is valid on its face and there is no showing of manifest error, grave abuse of discretion and prejudice on the part of the state prosecutor, the trial court should respect that determination," the resolution read.

"After due deliberation and careful consideration of the information and the supporting documents, this court finds the existence of probable cause for the issuance of a Warrant of Arrest against herein accused," the resolution read.

The court ordered the posting of a bail bond of P20,000 each or a total bond of P40,000 for the couple.

The order covers 1 of 4 tax evasion raps filed against the couple at the CTA.

The DOJ recommended the filing of charges against the Ligots in July for violation of Section 225 if the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997 for taxable year 2001, and for violation of Section 254 of the NIRC for 3 counts for taxable years 2002, 2003 and 2004.

The couple was charged by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for a combined tax deficiency amounting to P428,077,547 for taxable years 2001-2004; broken down as follows: Gen. Ligot:P290,241,919; and Erlinda Ligot: P137,835,627. The complaint said Ligot did not file his income tax returns (ITR) for taxable year 2001, while Erlinda Ligot failed to file her ITR for 2001-2004.

The BIR complaint said the couple failed to declare income amounting to over P41-million in 2001; over P103-million in 2002; close to P166-million in 2003; and over P148-million in 2004. The complaint also stated the Ligots made over $2-million deposits at a local bank allegedly used in making several bank deposits, investments and property acquisitions here and abroad.

The complaint said Ligot did not file his income tax returns (ITR) for taxable year 2001, while Erlinda Ligot failed to file her ITR for 2001-2004