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Opinion

The BIR and the BOC

SENTINEL - Ramon T. Tulfo - The Philippine Star

Officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) who conducted special tax audits on billionaire Andrew Tan’s property development company, Megaworld Corp., should have discerned they were treading on unholy grounds.

Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez ordered the special audits on Megaworld by the BIR central office transferred to the revenue district office where the property developer’s office is located.

Megaworld’s main office is located at the Bonifacio Global City (BGC) in Taguig.

The giant property developer’s stocks fell, making it lose billions of pesos in stock market trading after the BIR issued an advisory order on social media for the firm’s refusal to be audited.

Dominguez’s order was a slap on the wrists of officials at the BIR main office.

However, in order to save face, a top BIR official said that the audit on Megaworld was superseded by the finance secretary’s order.

The special audit by the BIR central office on Megaworld was issued by Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay, who has been on medical leave for over a month now.

Billionaire Andrew Tan was among the biggest contributors to then presidential candidate Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte’s campaign in the 2016 elections.

Top BIR officials should have known that.

*      *      *

The cash-strapped Bureau of Customs is scheduled to auction off four smuggled luxury vehicles, to raise P22.4 million.

The P22.2 million in revenues for the seized luxury vehicles is a pittance compared to the P1.995 billion the customs bureau will be collecting in tax, fines and penalties from Shell Petroleum Philippines Corp. for oil smuggling.

The Supreme Court has given the go-signal for the customs bureau to collect the huge amount from Shell after seven years of deliberation.

However, Shell has appealed to the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) even after the high tribunal’s decision.

It might take another seven years or so before the CTA makes a decision.

The high court’s decision to collect P1.995 billion from Shell was a sign of vindication for lawyer John Tan, former customs collector of the Port of Batangas, who discovered the oil smuggling.

Tan was relieved of his post and subjected to investigation for daring to go against the giant multinational firm.

Tan retired a few years ago while the appeal by Shell in the high court was still being heard.

*      *      *

Being put on the auction block by the customs bureau are the following: a 2008-model Ferrari, a Scuderia 430, a 2001 Porsche Boxster and a 2011 Mercedes Benz E-220.

From where I sit, super luxury vehicles are impractical in the country, where most roads are pockmarked and bridges are brittle (look at what happened in Bohol, where a bridge collapsed, sending several motorists to their death in the river).

Pickups and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are practical in the country’s roads and highways that go under water during heavy rains.

Pickups and SUVs can ford through flooded streets because of their elevated flooring; sedans can’t.

So, what do you need sports cars for in this country’s pitiful road conditions?

*      *      *

Uniformed police personnel should be forbidden to use TikTok, a social media platform that uses very short video footage, to express their sexual urges.

The three policewomen who gyrated before a camera on TikTok’s reels and short videos looked like dancers in a girly bar. They gave the impression that they were about to doff their uniforms and expose their naked bodies.

Those female cops aroused the animal instincts in full-blooded males, believe you me.

Another video on Tiktok showed two male and female uniformed cops – the man a commissioned officer and the female a patrolwoman – dancing unashamedly before the camera.

The policewoman kept on bumping her behind on the officer’s crotch, projecting the impression that she was in heat.

I’ve seen policemen and policewomen dance in public, but it was during Christmas parties and anniversary celebrations of the Philippine National Police, and they were not – repeat, not – in uniform but in civvies.

Cops who perform lewd dances in public disrespect their uniforms.

The same injunction applies to high officials in government who dance on TikTok.

A defeated senatorial candidate danced like a wild chicken when he was still with government, disgracing his position as well as his office.

Let’s leave performing suggestive dance numbers on TikTok to teenagers as their way of expressing their repressed sexual urges.

*      *      *

A Quezon City policeman, obviously moonlighting as a gun-for-hire and suspected of killing several Bureau of Customs (BOC) employees, was himself shot dead by BOC intelligence agents.

Executive M/Sgt. Celedonio Caunceran Jr., 42, was shot in the forehead and chest by operatives from the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) after he allegedly tried to grab the firearm of one of the agents.

Handcuffs were still attached to Caunceran’s wrists.

The discerning public knows that it was a vendetta killing, but Caunceran got what he deserved.

Caunceran was a suspect in several murders of BOC employees, as well as a grenade-throwing incident at the bureau’s Enforcement and Security Service compound.

The gun-for-hire cop’s victims were reportedly involved in illicit deals gone sour with some importers (read: smugglers).

*      *      *

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has suspended a City Hall official for six months for sexually harassing a female employee.

Merece! The sex fiend deserves it.

Why do male supervisors or managers sexually harass their female officemates when there are many other women outside?

The same question goes to employers who sexually harass their housemaids.

For crying out loud, why have sex or attempt to have sex with women who share the same roof with you?

It’s like sexually harassing a relative!

BIR

BOC

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