MANILA (Mabuhay) — The president of property developer Alphaland Corp. may have committed tax fraud for failing to pay the taxes for his shares from a land deal that allegedly benefited Vice President Jejomar Binay.
During the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said Alphaland president Mario Oreta may have failed to pay up to P600 million in taxes.
Oreta said during the hearing that he got a 5-percent share from the joint property development deal Alphaland entered into with the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) in 2008.
The payment was in the form of shares of stock in Silvertown Property Development Corp., which was later acquired by Alphaland.
The Alphaland official added that he used his firm, Noble Care Management Corp., as a vehicle for these transactions.
Oreta said that he “held unto” the shares and then later asked Alphaland president Roberto Ongpin to transfer the shares to the mother company.
Asked if his shares were eventually bought back, Oreta said: “If it says in the financial statement, then it must be true.”
Former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado earlier claimed that the amount from the buyback transaction turned into Binay’s kickback from the deal. Binay was the BSP national president at that time.
After this, Cayetano said Oreta may have committed tax fraud in this transaction.
“Pinalabas n’yo kumita kayo nung binenta ang share. ‘Di niyo inamin na part ‘yun ng sweldo n’yo. Utang n’yo sa BIR, kinompute ko ngayon, about P600 million. In-under value n’yo nung binenta,” the senator said.
The Alphaland official however said he has a tax clearance for this transaction.
Senator Sergio Osmeña III said during the hearing that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) should look into the alleged tax fraud committed by Oreta.
Kickbacks for vice presidential bid?
Late last month, Binay was accused of getting P200 million in kickbacks from the deal between BSP and Alphaland.
According to Mercado, based on the contract between BSP and Alphaland, the BSP was supposed to receive P600 million for the Alphaland’s development of a one-hectare property donated by BF Goodrich Philippines (now Sime Darby Pilipinas Inc.) to BSP in 1976.
Mercado said that up to now, the BSP has yet to receive its share from the joint property development venture, while Binay allegedly has already received P200 million from the deal.
The former vice mayor also claimed that Binay used the supposed kickbacks to fund his vice-presidential bid in 2010.
Earlier in the hearing, Mercado said Binay’s kickbacks from the land deal can even reach over P600 million.
Binay’s camp has already denied Mercado’s allegations.
The BSP also earlier denied entering into an anomalous contract with Alphaland for the development of a one-hectare property in Makati City
Alphaland’s Oreta also belied Mercado’s accusations, saying that it was the ex-Makati vice mayor who asked for the kickbacks. The property developer has also lodged a P100-million damage suit against Mercado. (MNS)