THE Philippine Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) on Thursday, November 8, affirmed the P40.028 million tax deficiency of Jeane Catherine Napoles, the youngest daughter of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles.

A petition for review was filed by Jeane before the tax court. In the said petition, the young Napoles questioned the assessment of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that she has tax deficiencies worth P40.028 million. 

However, in a 17-page resolution, the CTA dismissed the said petition for “utter lack of merit.” 

Associate Justice Esperanza Fabon-Victorino penned the said decision along with concurrences from Presiding Justice Roman Del Rosario and Associate Justices Juanito Castaneda Jr, Ma Belen Ringpis-Liban and Catherine Manahan.

A separate protest before the CTA Second Division was filed by Jeane questioning the BIR’s assessment of her tax deficiency. The protest became the civil case that went up all the way to the en banc. It was, however, junked because of the young Napoles’ failure to attend the hearings.

“Obedience to the requirements of procedural rules is needed if we are to expect fair results therefrom, and utter disregard of the rules cannot justly be rationalized by harking on the policy of liberal construction,” the tax court en banc said.

It added, “Apart from such self-serving and extremely unreal scenario, there is also nothing in the record that even suggests that a representative of petitioner’s counsel ever appeared before the clerks of court of either the Second or Third Divisions.”

In December 2017, the CTA Third Division junked a tax evasion case against Jeane involving the same property — a condominium unit at the Ritz Carlton in Los Angeles. Following such, there is currently no legal impediment for the government to collect payment from Napoles. Due to the said dismissal, Jeane was able to start refunding her travel and bail bonds. 

Napoles, along with her siblings James Cristopher and Jo Christine, and their mother Janet were all indicted by the United States Justice Department for domestic and international money laundering. The said case covered their alleged use of properties in the U.S. in order to conceal the money they earned from the pork barrel scam.

The said pork barrel scam involved government officials and lawmakers who allegedly earned kickbacks and hefty percentage by delivering the money from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to different ghost projects implemented by bogus non-governmental organizations that were eventually traced to Janet Napoles. 

Janet Napoles and former Senator Bong Revilla are scheduled to have their verdict for their plunder cases on December 7, four years after the scam was exposed. 

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