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BIR's lifestyle probe list
« on: March 24, 2010, 03:49:08 AM »
The names of rich and influential individuals placed under lifestyle investigation by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on suspicions of not paying correct taxes will be known before the end of June.

"We have the capability to uncover the untaxed wealth of these tax cheats," BIR Commissioner Joel L. Tan-Torres said.

He said special teams have already started gathering evidence and matching them with records furnished by the taxpayers themselves to the BIR.

The BIR chief said the audit procedure consisted mainly of matching tax payments vis-a-vis expenses for travel abroad, new vehicles and real estate properties and other acquisitions.

He said all government agencies like the Land Transportation Office, the Bureau of Immigration and the register of deeds have signified their intention to support the BIR "shotgun" investigation.

He allayed fears expressed by some sectors that the deployment of agents from the National Bureau of Investigation and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police in the lifestyle probe might results in harassments. (Jun Ramirez)

Farmers woes to poll body
Members of the Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines (AGAP) ate “tuyo” (dried sardines) and cold rice in front of the Commission on Election (Comelec) office in Manila Tuesday to dramatize the poverty stricken plight of the country’s farmers.

The simple lunch, AGAP partylist Rep. Nicanor Briones said, only showed that the reforms by the government for the farming groups remains unheeded.

“On the contrary, the standards of living of our farmers have considerably gone down, with most of them unable to feed their families nothing but tuyo,” he said.

They also demanded livelihood assistance from the government for the benefit of farmers badly affected by the El Nino phenomenon or else their families will suffer starvation.

Before lunch, Briones and other AGAP members filed their certification of nomination before the poll body which explicitly states that he, along with Rico Geron and Albert Lim, are those nominated by the party-list as their official representatives.

The Philippine party-list system aims to increase the representation, particularly of “marginalized and underrepresented” sectors and enhance transparency and accountability, leading to more efficient government. (Raymund F. Antonio)

Teachers hit Comelec
Teachers criticized Tuesday the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for allegedly ignoring what they describe as most urgent matter for public school teachers as far as the May elections are concerned — right to vote.

The Teachers Dignity Coalition (TDC) national chairperson Benjo Basas said that the Comelec, after several formal inquiries and dialogues, has consistently been ignoring the teachers’ appeal to resolve the cases of deactivation that would result to the disenfranchisement for about 80 percent of all teachers.

“We welcome the 10-minute extension for Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) members to vote, however the question is, are we allowed to sit in BEIs and to vote?” he argued.

Basas added that in a new resolution promulgated last March 16, the Comelec amended the rules for BEIs to give teachers time to participate in the first automated elections as voters.

“However, the 10-minute extension to facilitate our voting would be useless if in the first place, teachers could not be allowed to participate as BEIs or even as voters,” said Basas, also Caloocan City teacher.

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