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Mighty’s license may be canceled — BIR

MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is mulling the cancellation of Mighty Corp.’s license to operate, given the weight of evidence found against the cigarette firm.

BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay said he is eyeing to revoke Mighty’s license to operate, aside from filing a series of tax evasion cases against the company for the alleged use of fake stamps.

“Most likely... maybe it will not go beyond next month,” Dulay said when asked how soon the cancellation would be made.

He also said the move, coupled with the Bureau of Customs (BOC)’s earlier directive to cancel Mighty’s authority to import, could ultimately lead to the cigarette firm’s closure.

“If you recall the BOC canceled (Mighty’s) authority to import the raw materials. And you could imagine that within the next two or three months, if you don’t have a license to operate, you can’t import raw materials, then how do you manufacture your cigarettes?” Dulay added.

The BIR has filed its first tax evasion case against Mighty worth P9.564 billion, which involved only the fake tax stamps found in the company’s warehouse in San Simon Industrial Park in San Isidro, Pampanga last March 1.

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The BIR is still in the process of inspecting other seized goods from the company, including those found in its General Santos City, Zamboanga City and San Ildefonso, Bulacan warehouses. 

Evidence gathered from these facilities will be used to file more cases.

Dulay noted that the amount of seized cigarettes from the Bulacan facility alone is three times larger than those confiscated in Pampanga, with tax liabilities estimated to reach P27 billion. 

“We’re also working on that and hopefully within the month or even earlier we can complete the documentation and the gathering of evidence,” he added.

With regard to a compromise settlement with Mighty, Dulay said no agreements have been reached at the moment.

Earlier, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II disclosed that President Duterte had rejected the offer of Mighty to settle its tax liabilities by installment.

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