Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima maintained that the questionable tax returns of the personalities from Pharmally Corp. further attests that Mr. Duterte reduced the Office of the President to defending scammers and tax evaders.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of Duterte regime’s murderous and crooked policies, made the statement after the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee presented documents obtained from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) showing possible tax liabilities by the companies and personalities involved in the anomalous pandemic purchases of government.
“That Michael Yang, Christopher Lloyd Lao, Pharmally officers Linconn Ong and the Dargani siblings, and Pharmally itself, have questionable tax records is no longer surprising. What can we expect from the people and the company involved in the greatest scam of the century so far?” she asked.
Reportedly, key officials of Pharmally, its network of suppliers, along with ex-Presidential economic adviser Michael Yang, and former chief of Procurement Service of the Department of Budget and Management (PS-DBM) Lloyd Christopher Lao were flagged for failing to file proper income tax returns (ITRs) to the government throughout several years.
A presentation by Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon showed that most of the Pharmally officers’ income tax returns were not filed, unreadable, or even incomplete.
It may be recalled that Duterte earlier ordered Cabinet members to secure his clearance first before they could attend Senate inquiries, a statement which came amid the Senate investigation of the Pharmally scandal.
The lady Senator from Bicol said that paying the proper taxes is the last thing people can expect from crooks.
“Al Capone did not pay taxes, and that is how he got caught, not for syndicated racketeering, but for tax evasion. As we can also see in the Pharmally scam, tax evasion and racketeering go hand in hand,” she said.
“These are the people Duterte lawyers for every week. He has reduced the Office of the President to defending scammers, racketeers, and tax evaders. It is as if he is so at home in their company, he has forgotten his mandate as the chief law enforcement official of the land. The Attorney-Outlaw indeed,” she added. (30)