MANILA Unpaid taxes must be settled, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Thursday filed a tax evasion complaint against Rappler Holdings Corporation (RHC) and its officers.
Well, ano pong reaksiyon natin diyan kung hindi ang batas pinapatupad (Well, how else should we react if not to say that there are laws being implemented), Roque said in a Palace briefing.
Kung mayroon talagang hindi nabayarang buwis dapat managot (If there really are taxes that have not been paid, they should be held liable), he added.
The BIR alleged that Rappler Holdings Corp and its president Maria Ressa and treasurer James Bitanga had a "willful attempt to evade or defeat tax" and had a "deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information" in its annual income tax return and value-added tax (VAT) returns for 2015.
BIR said that the aggregate tax liability of RHC amounted to PHP133.84 million.
Ressa described the complaint as "ludicrous," and urged the BIR to "check its own records."
In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked Rappler's certification of incorporation for allegedly violating the constitutional restriction on foreign ownership of mass media.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, in a radio interview, urged Rappler to also settle its ownership case to be permitted to cover MalacaAang events.
Talagang kailangan lang ay i-solve ng Rappler iyong kanilang issue with the Securities and Exchange Commission at doon sa Court of Appeals (Rappler should really solve their issue with the SEC and the Court of Appeals). Once they solve it, that they can reverse the decision the CA reversed the decision then by all means they can cover, Andanar said.
Andanar, meanwhile, reiterated that covering President Rodrigo R. Duterte and MalacaAang is actually privilege, it's not a right.
It will depend on the President kung papayagan ka (if you will be allowed), even inside the Palace and outside, he added.
Duterte earlier accused Rappler of being sponsored by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States.
Source: Philippine News Agency