Government agencies and Congress were asked Monday to take the investigations slowly particularly on the case covering the allegations thrown at an established cigarette manufacturer in the country particularly on the allegedly underdeclaration of its raw materials used for production.
Ako Bicol Party List Representative Rodel Batocabe explained that investigations conducted by the House of Representatives on the “unscrupulous entities” in the country’s tobacco industry should delve into the entire industry and not focus on one company alone.
As a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means, Batocabe said that if they were to investigate, no one company should be singled out so as to eliminate any unnecessary speculations or hidden undertones.
The House Committee member was talking in reference to Mighty Corporation that has been bombarded with allegations of underdeclaration of products. The locally owned cigarette manufacturer sells cigarette brands that sell at P1 per stick, having them included in the low-end tier products incurring the cheapest of sin tax rates.
Batocabe further suggested that the investigation, which is being conducted by the Committee on Ways and Means and spearheaded by Romero Federico Quimbo, Marikina City representative, should look into the issue matter-of-factly to eliminate prejudice and bias. He explained that the probe should be fair and objective and focus on the basic objective of protecting the government.
Kabataan Party List Representative Terry Ridon, on the other hand, warned the Congress to not belittle and underestimate Mighty, a legitimate fully Filipino-owned name in the industry with its solid 68 years of operation.
Established in the 1940s, Mighty is proudly Filipino and has been one of the top distributors of low-priced brands that include Campana Ringing Bell, La Campanilla, Magkaibigan, among others.
Ridon emphasized that they would always be ready to defend national firms especially against foreign companies, in reference to local companies like Mighty who have been strong advocacies of helping the millions of poor Filipinos by providing livelihood programs (aside from paying their dues to the government in terms of paying taxes).
Miguelito Ocampo, Mighty’s legal counsel, earlier denied all the allegations against its client company. He explained that his client company is able to sell one-peso-per stick cigarettes because they do not have any obligations of paying royalty fees as opposed to other companies that need to do so.