PASIG COURT RESETS MARIA RESSA’S ARRAIGNMENT TO FEB 2019
MANILA -- Online news publisher Maria Ressa's arraignment on tax evasion charges before the Pasig City Regional Trial Court has been reset to February.
Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 265 Judge Danilo Buemio rescheduled Ressa's arraignment to Feb. 6, 2019 after Ressa's defense counsels filed a motion to dismiss the charges against her and Rappler Holdings Corp. (RHC).
The defense panel is also seeking to remand the cases to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Ressa is accused of failing to declare "correct and accurate" information in quarterly sales receipts from RHC's issuance and sale of Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDR) worth PHP2.45 million.
Ressa filed a cash bond of PHP60,000, which was fixed by the DOJ for her provisional liberty.
The charge is the fifth complaint for tax law violations filed by state prosecutors against Ressa.
The previous charges were filed before the Court of Tax Appeals of the Philippines.
In its charge sheet dated Nov. 17, 2018 filed before the Pasig City court, Assistant State Prosecutor Zenamar Machacon Caparros indicted Ressa of Rappler Holdings Corp. (RHC) for alleged violation of Sec. 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code.
The charge accuses the online firm of "fail(ure) to supply correct and accurate information in the quarterly value-added tax return of RHC for the second quarter of tax year 2015."
Based on the charge sheet, the firm reportedly committed the violation when it "fail(ed) to report the quarterly sales receipts coming from the issue and sale by RHC of Philippine Depositary Receipts as a dealer in securities to North Base Media Rappler in the total amount of PHP2.54 million."
The act resulted in unpaid deficiency value-added tax of PHP294,000 due to the government, excluding surcharge and interest, the indictment said. (PNA)