DOJ junks tax evasion raps vs Mighty Corp

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 6) — The Justice Department has dismissed tax evasion complaints worth P37.9 billion against tobacco company Mighty Corp., after granting the Bureau of Internal Revenue's (BIR) petition to withdraw its three charges.

The cigarette manufacturer was accused of failing to pay excise taxes and for using fake tax stamps on its cigarettes.

In a joint resolution dated October 2, the Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the tax bureau's motion to withdraw filed on September 26.

Mighty Corp. had earlier offered the government a P25 billion settlement, which President Rodrigo Duterte said will be used to rehabilitate the war-torn city of Marawi and the earthquake-damaged Ormoc City.

According to the joint resolution, "Complainant BIR referred to the approved settlement of Mighty Corporation's excise tax as well as compromise settlement of all its pending tax-related issues including that of its officers and shareholders."

"It behooves this office to grant the motion if only to promote the greater interest of the parties involved," it added.

In July, BIR said Mighty Corp. had already paid an initial payment of P3.44 billion to the government through a manager's check.

The tobacco company was acquired by Japan Tobacco International on September for P45 billion, paving the way for the government to collect the remaining P25.5 billion in the settlement.