Press Release
June 30, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) today assailed the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for rejecting the request of actress Ruffa Gutierrez and her parents, Eddie and Annabelle Gutierrez, for a reinvestigation of their supposed P3.3 million tax liability for which they are being criminally charged by the bureau.

Pimentel branded as unfair and unjustified the refusal of Internal Revenue Commissioner Jose Mario Bunag to entertain any offer from the Gutierrezes to settle the tax evasion case out of court.

The BIR should not shut the door for a possible compromise on the case against Ruffa, Eddie and Annabelle Rama-Gutierrez, the minority leader said.

He said it appears that the Gutierrezes are being denied their right to due process in the light of reports that the BIR granted the request of some movie personalities for reinvestigation of their alleged tax deficiency.

BIR charges are in general subject to compromise. It looks bad if the case against the Gutierrezes is not compromised because they were supporters of Fernando Poe, Jr. in the last elections, Pimentel said.

For the sake of credibility, it will not look good for the BIR if it is seen as a tool for the persecution of those who are not supporters of the President.

In the tax case filed by the BIR; Ruffa and her parents were identified as the owners of the Royal Era Entertainment Inc. which produces movies, TV shows and concerts and promotes show business talents.

They denied that they deliberately refused to cooperate with the BIR in the examination of the Royal Era Entertainment book of accounts.

Pimentel asked why the BIR declined the request of the Gutierrezes to remand the case to the bureau which if granted, would have erased doubts that they were denied due process.

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