Former DOF exec faces jail for graft

A former Department of Finance official who is facing a string of cases arising out of his assignment at the one-stop shop Inter-­ Agency Tax Credit and Drawback Center was convicted of graft anew by the Sandiganbayan and was meted out six to 10 years imprisonment.

This time, Raul de Vera, former officer of in charge of the one-stop shop, was convicted of granting a P1.75 million in tax credits to an unqualified company.

The anti-graft court said that De Vera “unlawfully granted P1.75 million worth of tax credits to St. Rose Transit Inc. for the latter’s purchase of two units of Mitsubishi buses.”

St. Rose was not eligible for tax credits since it acquired the vehicles from a dealer and not a domestic manufacturer as required under the Omnibus Investment Code, the court ruled.

In addition, the anti-graft court also said that De Vera conspired with St. Rose Transit Inc. officials Joseph Cabotaje and Aladin Simundac “in making it appear that the Philippine Automotive Manufacturing Corp. sold the P9.7 million worth two Mitsubishi buses to St. Rose Transit Inc. with PAMCOR issuing Tax Credit Application No. 96-0-0001 and supporting documents such as vehicle invoice and delivery receipt the the bus company.”

The P9.7 million went on to become the basis of the P1.7-million tax credit granted to St. Rose Transit Inc., even if PAMCOR does not have the authority to issue such documents.

However, the court found out that the sale was not directly made by PAMCOR to St. Rose and instead PAMCOR's dealer Diamond Motors completed the sale.

In 2016, De Vera was among those convicted by the anti-graft court in connection two other cases involving anomalies at the one-stop shop tax drawback center.

In two separate decisions, the anti-graft court’s Special First and Fifth Divisions convicted former DOF Deputy Executive Director Uldarico Andutan Jr. of five counts of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act together with OIC-Garment Division Reviewer Miriam Tasarra of four counts of graft.

Also convicted were de Vera, who was a Supervising Tax Specialist at the time; Senior Tax Specialist Rosanna Diala, Evaluators Gladys Olaño, Irene Magbojos and Lucila Cueto of one count of graft each.

Businessmen Mukesh Uttamchandani and Olivia Demetrio of Precision Garments International; and Kuldip Singh of J.K. Apparel Manufacturing Inc. and United Apparel Manufacturing, Inc. (UAM) were likewise convicted of graft. They were sentenced to 6 to 10 years imprisonment for each count.

In addition to graft, Andutan, De Vera, Uttamchandani and Demetrio were convicted of estafa and sentenced to four to 20 years imprisonment.

Topics: Department of Finance , DOF exec , graft
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