MANILA - The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) has acquitted the daughter of the late former Chief Justice Renato Corona in a tax evasion case filed against her in connection with a lot purchase in 2010.
In a resolution by the CTA 1st Division promulgated on Nov. 3, the court granted the demurrer to evidence filed by Ma. Carla Beatrice Castillo, which effectively dismissed charges against her.
“All told, as there is absence of proof showing that accused is a resident of the Philippines in 2010 and that there was a likely source of income of accused in 2010 vis-a-vis the income she derived therefrom during the same year, the present Demurrer to Evidence should rightly be granted,” the court said in the resolution penned by Presiding Justice Roman Del Rosario, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Erlinda Uy and Cielito Mindaro-Grulla.
A demurrer to evidence is a motion filed by an accused after the presentation of evidence by the prosecution, ultimately seeking the dismissal of the case based on insufficient evidence.
In 2014, the Department of Justice approved the recommendation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to file charges against Castillo for her alleged “willful attempt to evade tax and failure to file an income tax return” for 2010.
According to the BIR investigation, Castillo bought an P18-million property in 2010 at the posh La Vista Subdivision in Quezon City despite being unable to file an ITR for the same year.
Castillo, who resided in the US at the time she supposedly committed violations of tax laws, said the charges against her were “mere speculation and [based] on an unfounded conclusion” that the acquisition of the La Vista property implied receipt of alleged undeclared income in 2010.