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BIR chief files libel raps vs. Ramon Tulfo

August 24, 2019 - Saturday 10:08 AM by PNA

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MANILA -- Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Caesar Dulay has filed libel and cyber libel charges against columnist Ramon Tulfo for three “undoubtedly false and defamatory” columns posted at The Manila Times’ online news website.

The complaint, filed before the Quezon City Prosecutors Office on Thursday, includes three counts of libel and seven counts of cyber-libel against Tulfo and The Manila Times editors and officials.

In Tulfo’s column “My Line of Sight: Conversations between two BIR execs reveals all," Dulay said he was accused of having "skeletons in the closet at the graft-ridden agency” while Tulfo’s second column dated August 8, which alleged that there was a giving of bribe in multibillion peso tax cases with delinquent corporations, pictured him as an “insatiable greedy extortionist, a cheat and a corrupt official in (President) Digong’s government.”

The third column dated August 20 called for a corruption probe against Dulay over what Tulfo said was the Del Monte’s “compromised” payment of PHP65 million instead of the “huge delinquent tax amounting to PHP8.7 billion."

Dulay said the columns were “undoubtedly false and defamatory” and “not only directly pictured me as a corrupt official, an animal, a thief, minion of Satan, greedy bastard", but also "maliciously portrayed me as a criminal.”

Dulay is seeking PHP20 million in damages, and a precautionary hold departure order against Tulfo, a Special Envoy for Public Diplomacy to China.

He noted that Tulfo did not even ascertain the truth of his information.

He added that the Del Monte case has never reached the Court of Tax Appeals, and "there was no compromise" contrary to Tulfo's allegation.

"The collection was based on a series of assessments based on Revenue Procedures and delegated authority. These assessments were based on documents submitted as part of the Revenue Procedures. Thus, we cannot just make up a collection amount without evidence to support it," Dulay said.

BIR executive Teresita Angeles, whom Tulfo alleged was the woman in a video recording who supposedly spoke of rampant corruption in the BIR, has denied she was the woman. (PR)