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Bureau Internal Revenue officials arrested for bribery

Justice

THREE employees of the Bureau of Internal Revenue have been arrested by NBI agents for demanding money from the owner of a Chinese restaurant in San Juan City.

The NBI identified the three as Arturo Buniol, Gary Anastacio, and Edgardo Javier, all special investigators at the BIR’s Regional Investigation Division.

NBI Director Dante Gierran said the three were arrested in an entrapment operation conducted on June 21 by operatives of the bureau’s Special Task Force in Greenhills, San Juan, based on a complaint filed before the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission by an employee of the restaurant which had a P1.2-million tax liability.

The employee said the three demanded P75,000 from the restaurant.

The three, according to PACC commissioner Greco Belgica, initially demanded P600,000 to secure the services of an accountant.

Belgica did not identify the restaurant victimized by the suspects.

In a statement, the NBI said Belgica assumed the identity of a female accountant and through text messages informed the three BIR personnel that he was an accountant by the name of “Kath Legazpi.”

After determining the purpose of the amount sought by the three, Belgica asked the assistance of the NBI.

“Through exchange of text messages, Commissioner Belgica acting as accountant Kath Legazpi discovered that the three suspects were asking for an initial P75,000 from the P600,000 for the restaurant’s alleged tax liability to the BIR and the balance will be given `to the other side’ which the subjects were referring to,” the NBI said in the statement.

Gierran said charges for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, bribery and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees have been filed against the suspects before the Office of the Ombudsman.

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