Kabataan Party-list Rep. Terry Ridon on Wednesday slammed giant tobacco firm Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. for alleged “bullying” tactics against competitors.
Ridon said PMFTC used inaccurate and biased data culled from so-called ‘research’ from Oxford Advisers, which it commissioned to support call to review Republic Act No. 10351 or the Sin Tax Reform Law.
“This is not only an out and out smear campaign against local tobacco manufacturers but a downright affront on the government’s revenue generating agencies such as the BIR [Bureau of Internal Revenue] and BoC [Bureau of Customs],” Ridon said.
Abakada Partylist Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz also warned against calls for a review of RA 10351, just over a year after its implementation in the name of ‘plugging suspected revenue leaks and undervaluation’ by certain manufacturers.
“This is an unwarranted indictment of the BIR and BoC coming as it does after these agencies reported record breaking revenues generated from the reformed sin tax law,” dela Cruz said.
“No less than BIR Commissioner Kim Henares has publicly cited the law’s effectiveness /just over a year after its full implementation noting that the agency reported record excise tax collections in the first three quarters of 2014 which she emphasized exceeded the full year target in 2013, “ de la Cruz said.
Mighty Corp., the country’s oldest Filipino-owned cigarette producer, also slammed PMFTC president Paul Riley, for allegedly making unfounded and malicious statements over allegations of fraudulent activities.
“Paul Riley’s statements are the height of irresponsibility, malice and very unbecoming a ranking executive of a multinational company. He’s obviously very desperate to resort to this kind of lying and mudslinging,” Mighty executive vice president Oscar Barrientos said in a statement.
Barrientos was reacting to the PMFTC executive’s claim that Mighty had undervalued its imports based on the study done by the Senate Tax Study and Research Office which was still incomplete and subject to final analysis.
“What PMFTC and Riley conveniently kept from the public is that the STSRO study used data culled from a report on alleged illicit tobacco trade conducted by the International Tax and Investment Center and Oxford Economics. This report was commissioned and funded by Philip Morris International which makes it self-serving,” Barrientos said.