THE Coalition of Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Northern Mindanao remained unfazed over threats of lasuits in connection with the Oct. 21 “Sara Protesta” in the city.
Coalition spokesperson lawyer Oscar Musni said this after Bureau of Internal Revenue regional director Mustapha Gandarosa warned that those who joined in Tuesday’s business sector-led protest faced the prospects of being charged wiht economic sabotage.
Musni called Gandarosa’s pronouncements as nothing but “empty threats.”
“My principals believe that there is no legal basis for economic sabotage charges. Director Gandarosa can file it he wants, he is free to do so,” Musni told The Gold Star Daily yesterday.
Musni however said the coalition was contemplating on bringing local BIR officials, including Gandarosa, to court.
He also called on the government to act on the local business people’s complaints about the way the BIR has been collecting taxes.
The local businesspeople, he said, were not against tax collections. In fact, he said, the traders cooperated to make the local BIR office among the country’s top tax-collecting offices for three consecutive years.
“That alone proves that Cagayan de Oro businessmen are cooperative in collection drives. So why was there a need to harass them to collect more?” asked Musni rehtorically.
He said the business people also complained about the computation of taxes based on “hastily gathered data.”
Daily sales under surveillance for 15 days were rounded off and made the basis for the total sales of establishments for one year, he said.
Musni said the local BIR office did not consider “inevitable fluctuations” in the sale of goods and services.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a BIR official said Musni’s pronouncements were inaccurate. He said the tax assessments for each establishment in the city can be checked with BIR records “if they are in doubt about the amounts levied on them.”
Gandarosa has denied allegations that he or any of his subordinates harassed local businesspeople. He said he was only doing his job. Lizanilla Amarga correspondent Gold Star Daily