Malacanang Hopes Supreme Court Will Decide Lucio Tan, et Al P25.27-B Tax Case

Article excerpt

Malacanang expressed hope yesterday that the Supreme Court (SC) will eventually decide on the merits of the controversial P25.27-billion tax evasion case it filed against presidential friend and cigarette magnate Lucio Tan.

Executive Secretary Ronaldo Zamora aired this optimism as government lawyers study options whether to file a motion for reconsideration on the Court of Appeals' (CA) earlier decision dismissing the case on a mere technicality.

"It is important not only for the government, but also for Tan, that the case be decided on the merits, not on a mere technicality," he said, hinting that the government is seriously considering the possibility of bringing the case to the SC.

Zamora, a lawyer himself, said although he respects the CA's recent decision, he is surprised that the controversial case has been decided upon without giving much weight on its merits but on a mere technicality.

The CA earlier dismissed the government's tax evasion case against Tan after it found out, on a mere technicality, that the Department of Justice (DOJ) had miserably failed to promptly file its petition for a review of the case 11 days late.

Zamora said the government lawyers and revenue officials shall begin to plan out their move only when President Estrada is already abroad to attend the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York, United States next week. …