By REY G. PANALIGAN
Manila, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DoJ) starts on October 21 its preliminary investigation into the P61 million tax evasion cases filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against alleged pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles and her husband Jaime.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela, head of a three-man panel of investigators, said subpoenas have been issued to the Napoles couple for the October 21 hearing starting at 2 p.m. and its continuation on November 5.
Valenzuela said the subpoenas were sent to the residence of the Napoles couple and to Mrs. Napoles at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, where she is being held without bail on serious illegal detention charges filed by the DoJ on the complaint of whistle-blower Benjur Luy.
Aside from representatives of the BIR, the Napoles spouses were ordered to appear during the hearings.
The other members of the DoJ panel are Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano and Prosecution Attorney Mark Roland Estepa.
If the panel finds probable cause, tax evasion charges will be filed against the Napoles couple.
Last month, the BIR accused the Napoles couple of evading payment of taxes for the years 2004, 2006, and 2008 until 2012.
At the same time, the BIR charged Janet Napoles “with deliberate failure to supply correct and accurate information in her Income Tax Return (ITR) for taxable years 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2009 and with willful failure to file her ITRs for taxable years 2010, 2011 and 2012.”
In the case of Jaime Napoles, the BIR charged him with failure to supply the correct and accurate information in his ITR for 2009 and for his failure to file his ITR for 2004, 2006, 2008, and from 2010 until 2012.