Build three hospitals, no more tax deficiency: Duterte to Mighty Corp. owner
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday the government would no longer go after the owner of a cigarette manufacturing company if it could pay P3 billion, double from the alleged P1.5 billion worth of fake stamps it allegedly used.
In an interview in Davao del Sur, Duterte said he will "forget" the alleged fake cigarette stamps of Mighty Corp.
"I will agree to this: Pay double, I'll forget about it. Anyway, I assure him that if someone in power pursue the case, I can always pardon him," he said referring to Mighty Corporation president Alex Wongchuking.
In a speech in Davao City, Duterte explained under the law, a compromise over tax liability is allowed.
"The law allows a compromise, like other crimes...I will just consider the fake stamps as a matter of evading the taxes," he said.
He said the P3 billion will be earmarked equally for three hospitals in Basilan, Sulu and in Tondo, Manila.
But he said some businessmen told them P3 billion is not enough for the three hospitals.
Thus, he said it could be raised to P5 billion, but it depends on Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and to the commissioners of the Bureaus of Internal Revenue and Customs.
"If they agree, it's also okay with me. He's (Wongchuking) of no use to me. I mean, send him to jail, he will enjoy the privileges of living out," he said. "Anyway, it's just money."
The justice department issued a lookout bulletin for Wongchuking as cases are being prepared against him. Celerina Monte/DMS