SC upholds dismissal of tax evasion rap vs Mikey Arroyo

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
SC upholds dismissal of tax evasion rap vs Mikey Arroyo
In 2011, the Bureau of Internal Revenue filed a tax evasion case against former Pampanga Rep. Mikey Arroyo for failure to file income income tax returns in 2005, 2008 and 2009.
Facebook / Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, File

MANILA, Philippines — The Supreme Court on Tuesday affirmed the tax court’s acquittal of former Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo in a multi-million tax evasion case.

The SC said that the petition for certiorari filed by the government, through the Office of the Solicitor General, assailing the Court of Tax Appeal's ruling was junked for “its procedural defects and substantive deficiencies.”

The Bureau of Internal Revenue sued Arroyo for allegedly misdeclaring his income for the taxable years 2004, 2006 and 2007. But the tax court, last March, cleared Arroyo after it held that the prosecution failed “to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

READ: Mikey Arroyo, wife face tax evasion raps

The government elevated the case dismissal to the high tribunal assailing the tax court’s dismissal on March 21, 2018.

The SC ruled that the CTA “assiduously sifted the evidence and analysed the records; it explained the merits of the charges upon reviewing the elements of the offense charged and determining whether or not the evidence adduced by the Prosecution established such elements.”

It added that the prosecution was unable to identify the sources of Arroyo’s supposed unreported income and it was a “sure index of its failure to discharge the quantum.”

Appeal filed prematurely

The high court also pointed out that the government’s appeal was filed prematurely as it had not filed a motion for reconsideration to assail the decision’s criminal aspect.

This “was a gross violation of Section 1, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, which authorizes the petition for certiorari to be filed only when there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the course of law.”

The SC also held that the government failed to show how the CTA was guilty of grave abuse of discretion.

“In short, the CTA in Division did not act capriciously or whimsically in absolving him of the charges,” the 13-page extended minute resolution further read.

The tribunal dismissed the government’s plea “without pronouncement on costs of suit.”

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