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BIR confiscates P100-M fake cigarettes

May 10, 2019

ILIGAN CITY - More than 100 million-peso worth of cigarettes were confiscated on Thursday morning (May 9) during an operation conducted by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Intellectual Property Rights and the Iligan City Police Office (ICPO). Armed with a 'mission order' from the BIR Region X, the operatives raided two houses in Isabel Village, Barangay Palao, this city, rented by a Chinese businessman whose identity was not disclosed by the police. Authorities were met by a middle-aged Filipina woman, who introduced herself as the house cook, and a Chinese man, named Wang Jian Min, who introduced himself as cousin of the business-owner. Alberto Daba, chief revenue officer of the Regional Investigation Division of BIR-X, said the operation was conducted following an intelligence report from the ICPO operatives that the house, which served as warehouse of a Chinese businesman, has fake cigarettes stored in it. "It is fake because on the part of the BIR, the stamps are fake. Under the provisions of the national internal revenue code particularly section 265 of the Tax Code of 1997, it unlawfully possessed spurious internal revenue stamps and as penalized under the law," Daba said in an interview. One hundred master cases of Two Moon cigarettes were confiscated from the first house with estimated market value of 25 million pesos. While the inventory was ongoing, the owner of the house, who requested not to be named, arrived and gave permission to authorities to also check the other house he also owned just beside the first house. "The two houses are rented by only one person, a Chinese businesman. I only knew his business is spare parts, I did not know he is also into selling of fake cigarettes," said the house owner. At the second house, 387 master cases of various brands of cigarettes were found that has estimated market value of more than 75 million pesos but the owner of the business were not around. Daba said with the number of cases confiscated, the government has 84 million peso excise tax loss revenue. The cigarettes were taken custody by BIR-X at their office in Cagayan de Oro City while Wang was taken custody by the Iligan City Police Office for filing of the following charges: unlawful pursuit of business, failure to file excise tax returns, unlawful possession or removal of articles subject to excise tax without payment of tax and attempt to defeat or evade excise tax.

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SMC gets 85.7 percent ownership of Holcim Philippines for $2.2B 

May 10, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital, May 9) - San Miguel Corporation (SMC), one of the largest conglomerates of businesses in the country has recently bagged a deal to acquire 85.7 percent ownership of Holcim Philippines. The acquisition was reported to be around 2.2 billion dollars according to a very reliable source. SMC has been reported to have won an auction against Anhui Conch, identified in mainland China as the largest cement manufacturer in the final round. SMC's acquisition of Holcim Philippines will be completed using one of its subsidiaries that is under SMC. Meanwhile Eagle Cement Corp, reports said, has originally thought as in the forefront of actually running Holcim Philippines but later learned it's not part of the deal.   Earlier, there were reports that San Miguel Corporation has informed its bankers to make some preparations such as credit line to the tune of $2.1 billion and $2.3 billion.  It was learned though that Holcim Philippines was sold to the highest interested bidder as part of the company's rationalization program. The said decsion to sell 85.7 percent ownership to San Miguel was based on the decision of its parent multinational conglomerate in Switzerland - the LafargeHolcim. (JCE/MDN digital)  

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IBP doubts Bikoy's credibility; rejects appeal for legal assistance 

May 10, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital, May 10) -  The Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), whom the controversial Peter Joemel Advincula aka Bikoy sought for help, has reportedly doubted his credibility and rejected his plea. IBP's doubts reportedly developed after they have conducted a research and checked on Advincula's background and criminal records.   Earlier, Bikoy, the man in the hooded video series "Ang Totoong Narcolist" has claimed he decided to seek at the IBP office for fear of his life. He claimed after he uploaded the controversial video series linking the president's family and close friends to the illegal drug trade in the country. "There threats of my life so I decided to go to IBP in hopes they would give me legal assistance," he said in Filipino language. The IBP, the most prestigious organization of professional lawyers in the country, has maintained they rejected Bikoy's appeal because his statments were "reeked of political agenda." The IBP did not elaborate. READ: Bikoy resurfaces after hiding On Wednesday, the IBP through its National Center for Legal Aid (NCLA) said that they have evaluated Advincula's application just like any other citizens of the country seeking legal help. NCLA said “his application was duly processed just like any other request received by the NCLA,” the IBP said in a statement but it was denied due to lack of credibility as his accusations are tainted with political agenda. 

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Zamboanga Norte judge shot dead at carpark

May 10, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital, May 10) A regional trial court judge was killed by still unidentified gunman Thursday afternoon while at the carpark of the court house building, police authorities reported. Police authorities confirmed the victim as Branch 11 Judge Reymar L. Lacaya of Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte Regional Trial Court. He was shot at the fatal points which also resulted to his untimely death. Initial investigation disclosed that the suspect may have already waited for the judge to go back to the parking area after his official functions when he was gunned dead by an unknown attacker. Chief Justice Bersamin said the entire Judiciary condemns in the strongest possible terms the killing of Judge Lacaya. He urged authorities to expediate their investigation efforts and arrest the suspect as soon as possible to give justive to the slain judge. Judge Lacaya was the son of former governor of the province, the late Virgilio Lacaya who served Zamboanga del Norte from 1967 to 1980. Based on records he was the 30th judge who was killed since 1999 and also the fifth judge slain since 2017. The four other judges were: Judge Godofredo Abul Jr. – RTC Butuan City (August 5, 2017); Judge Ricky Begino – MTC-Presentacion, Camarines Sur (June 12, 2018); and Judge Edmundo Pintac – RTC Ozamiz City. ###   

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Santiago is new PNP 10 chief

May 10, 2019

CAGAYAN DE ORO (MDN digital, May 10) - The regional office 10 of the Philippine National Police (PNP 10) will now have a new chief in the person of Police Chief Superintendent Rafael Petican Santiago, Jr. Santiago replaced outgoing PNP 10 chief General Timoteo Paclib during a change of command held this morning (May 10) at Camp Alagar in Cagayan de Oro City. In his speech, outgoing PNP 10 chief Paclib proudly announced the accomplishments during his tenure in Northern Mindanao, including the recent neutralization of reported big time druglords including the late Reynaldo Parojinog. Parojinog died when he engaged with police operatives during a raid headed by the Ozamis Police chief. Paclib also mentioned the arrest of Parojinog's brother Ardot on May 23,2018. Meanwhile, the incoming PNP 10 chief PCSupt Santiago Jr also accepted with open arms his new assignment in Northern Mindanao. He thanked the PNP Chain of Command for giving him an opportunity to go back to the field. He said he still wants to work out his capabalities with total commitment to serve Northern Mindanao. "I will offer you my undivided commitment to serve," the incoming PNP 10 chief said in his acceptance speech.  

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BIR confiscates fake cigarettes worth more than 100 million pesos

May 10, 2019

ILIGAN CITY ----- More than 100 million-peso worth of cigarettes were confiscated on Thursday morning (May 9) in an operation conducted by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Intellectual Property Rights and the Iligan City Police Office (ICPO). Armed with a 'mission order' from the BIR Region X, the operatives raided two houses in Isabel Village, Barangay Palao, this city, rented by a Chinese businesman whose identity was not disclosed by the police. Authorities were met by a middle-aged Filipina woman, who introduced herself as the house cook, and a Chinese man, named Wang Jian Min, who introduced himself as cousin of the business-owner. Alberto Daba, chief revenue officer of the Regional Investigation Division of BIR-X, said the operation was conducted following an intelligence report from the ICPO operatives that the house, which served as warehouse of a Chinese businesman, has fake cigarettes stored in it. "It is fake because on the part of the BIR, the stamps are fake. Under the provisions of the national internal revenue code particularly section 265 of the Tax Code of 1997, it unlawfully possessed spurious internal revenue stamps and as penalized under the law," Daba said in an interview. One hundred master cases of Two Moon cigarettes were confiscated from the first house with estimated market value of 25 million pesos. While the inventory was ongoing, the owner of the house, who requested not to be named, arrived and gave permission to authorities to also check the other house he also owned just beside the first house. "The two houses are rented by only one person, a Chinese businesman. I only knew his business is spare parts, I did not know he is also into selling of fake cigarettes," said the house owner. At the second house, 387 master cases of various brands of cigarettes were found that has estimated market value of more than 75 million pesos but the owner of the business were not around. Daba said with the number of cases confiscated, the government has 84 million peso excise tax loss revenue. The cigarettes were taken custody by BIR-X at their office in Cagayan de Oro City while Wang was taken custody by the Iligan City Police Office for filing of the following charges: unlawful pursuit of business, failure to file excise tax returns, unlawful possession or removal of articles subject to excise tax without payment of tax and attempt to defeat or evade excise tax.  

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