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  • Expert dooms Sen. Revilla defense                              Detained Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. paid P200,000 as professional fee of a handwriting expert—a defense witness—who used photocopied documents in examining supposed Sen. Revilla signatures on pork barrel disbursements to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs). The expert’s surprising turn tore Revilla’s defense apart, Undersecretary Jose Justiniano of the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Thursday as he cross-examined Mr. Disiderio Pagui, a retired chief document examiner of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). “P200,000,” Pagui responded when Justiniano asked him how much he was paid by Sen. Revilla’s camp for his professional fee as a handwriting expert. Undersecretary Justiniano, who has been deployed to assist government prosecutors, then clarified that regardless of the professional fee, it was Mr. Pagui’s admission that he used photocopied documents in examining the authenticity of Revilla’s signatures that doomed the defense. “He [Mr. Pagui] has been with the NBI from 1960 to the 1980s and he has used original copies in examining signature. Suddenly, he deviated and used photocopied documents this time. He said he failed to get the original copies because [they are] with the adverse party. But these are public documents. He could have easily got copies from the NGOs, as well as [from] the government agencies Nabcor, NLDC and TRC who would have the original copies,” he pointed out.
  • BIR files tax evasion case vs Makati-based BPO company   A tax evasion case was filed against Sencor, Inc. after the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) found that the Makati-based business process outsourcing (BPO) company failed to pay withholding taxes worth P195.87 million. Sencor electronically filed its withholding tax returns but continuously failed to remit withholding taxes and pay withholding taxes on compensation from March 2008 to August 2014, BIR Commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares said, citing agency records. The company is mandated to withhold taxes on various income payments to its suppliers and to withhold taxes on the compensation of its employees. Despite repeated demands, the company continued to refuse to pay the taxes due to the government even though it already received several demand letters with attached list of returns filed without payments, the BIR said. Respondents include Mr. George Vincent Martel, president; Mr. Michael Victor Martel, executive vice-president; Ms. Olga Martel, director; Ms. Katrina Olga Martel, treasurer; and Ms. Tessielin Alvarez, corporate secretary. 

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