BIR files tax evasion case vs Mayor Manuel Fortes, Atty. Coronito Gallanosa and 3 others

Barcelona Mayor Manuel Fortes now facing criminal prosecution for defrauding the government the sum of P322,775.10. PHOTO BY
Barcelona Mayor Manuel Fortes now facing criminal prosecution for defrauding the government the sum of P322,775.10. PHOTO BY

By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.

SORSOGON CITY ( 07, 2011) – The Bureau of Internal Revenue, at 3 in the afternoon yesterday filed information at the Provincial Prosecutors Office here, recommending criminal prosecution against Barcelona town Mayor Manuel Fortes, Jr., Atty. Coronito Gallanosa of the Register of Deeds of Sorsogon City, Spouses Joseph D. and Pureza H. Yap and Donato Dionglay, Jr., for their willful attempt and among themselves colluded in defrauding the government of internal revenue taxes. They collectively violated Section 24, 58, 95 and 196, punishable under Secction 254 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

This information was concluded after the Special Investigation Division of the Bureau of Internal Revenue received a complaint-affidavit from Fulton Baylon of Sorsogon City, with supporting documents informing the bureau of an alleged fraud committed by the above-named respondents, except Atty. Gallanosa. As revenue investigating officers, Amadeo Bernal and Oswaldo Adornado found out that the non-submission of the correct deed of sale and for not securing a clearance certificate from BIR, the government was deprived of the collection of the internal revenue taxes amounting to Php 322,775.10, thus recommending prosecution.

Chronology of events:

August 26, 2004 – Atty. Manuel Fortes, Jr. notarized a Deed of Sale consisting of three parcels of land executed by and between Joseph D. Yap and Donato D. Dionglay,Jr. in the sum of one million six hundred fifty nine pesos (Php 1,659,000.00).

September 22, 2010 – Joseph H. Yap, son of Spouses Joseph D. and Pureza H. Yap, executed an affidavit attesting that on August 24, 2004 the terms of the sale of three parcel of land owned by his father was finalized. The buyer is Donato Dionglay Jr.. The Deed of Sale was notarized by Atty. Manuel Fortes, Jr. with an agreed consideration of the sum of Php 1,659,000.00.

March 2, 2011 – Memorandum was issued to Amadeo Bernal, Special Investigator III, SID, by Atty. Diosdado Mendoza to secure documents with RDO No. 68, Sorsogon City, relative to the complaint of Fulton Baylon.

March 4, 2011 – Atty. Diosdado Mendoza, BIR Regional Director in a letter to Atty. Coronito Gallanosa requested a copy of the Certificate Authorizing Registration(CAR).

March 8, 2011 – Administrative Officer Cynthia Calleja of RDO No. 68, Sorsogon City, certified that a Certificate Authorizing Registration was not issued to Joseph Yap to Donato Dionglay.

July 29, 2011 – Special Investigator Amadeo Bernal, with approval from Oswaldo Adornado in a memorandum for Atty. Diosdado Mendoza, BIR, OIC-Regional Director, the following courses of actions;

  1. “… A Memorandum Order should be immediately issued to the personnel of the Special investigation Division…which would allow access to and verification of the Primary Entry Book and other important and pertinent records of the Registry of deeds, Sorsogon City to determine the extent of the violation committed by Atty. Coronito Gallanosa and to collect taxes due and demandable thereon.
  2. To forward the instant case to the Legal Division for filling of appropriate criminal action against spouses Joseph D. and Pureza H. Yap and Donato D. Dionglay, Jr. for violation of Sec. 24(C)(1) in relation to Section 269 of the amended Tax Code.
  3. To inform and furnish the Land Registration Authority … in connection with the registration of instrument of sale ofd real property and the issuance of Transfer of Certificate without the required Certificate Authorizing Registration (CAR) committed by Atty. Coronito Gallanosa.
  4. To file administrative and criminal cases against Atty. Coronito Gallanosa for violation of Section 95, punishable under Section 269 of the Tax code.
  5. To file administrative and criminal cases against Atty. Manuel Fortes, Jr. for violation of Section 59 of the Code.
  6. To inform Mr. Fulton Baylon of the action made.

September  19, 2011 – Atty. Edmond Lladoc, Legal Officer of the Revenue Region No. 10 received a signed letter from Fulton Baylon further furnishing certified photocopy of Affidavits of Joseph H. Yap III stating thereat an extra-judicial admission of tax evasion.

October 3, 2011 – Amadeo Bernal and Oswaldo Adornado of the Special Investigation Division of the BIR, Revenue Region No. 10, executed a Joint Complaint-Affidavit duly certified.

October 5, 2011 – Certified Xerox copy from BIR Legal Division for computation of Capital Gains and Documentary Stamp Tax signed by Eutiquio Grajo of RDO No. 68, Sorsogon City.

October 6, 2011 – At 3 o’clock in the afternoon a referral for preliminary investigation was received by the Provincial Prosecutors Office, Province of Sorsogon, signed by Esmeralda M. Tabule, newly installed Regional Director, BIR Revenue Region No. 10 recommending criminal prosecution of the following persons:

  1. Joseph D. Yap of Pto. Diaz, Sorsogon
  2. Mrs. Pureza H. Yap, spouse of Joseph D. Yap of the same address
  3. Mr. Donato D. Dionglay, Jr. of Sts. Peter and Paul subdivision, Bibincahan, Sorsogon City
  4. Atty.Manuel L. Fortes, Jr. of Municipal Building, Barcelona, Sorsogon.
  5. Atty. Coronito G. Gallanosa c/o Register of Deeds, Sorsogon City.

The case was referred to the regional level since the amount supposedly defrauded the government is less than a million pesos. This was contained in a February 23, 2011 directive of the Bureau of Internal Revenue National Investigation Division which falls under the jurisdictional amount covered by Revenue Region No. 10.

When reach for comment, Fulton Baylon, the complainant said that it is high time that people of influence should not flaunt the laws, that the action of the special investigation division is commendable. On the part of the respondents they have yet to receive copy of the information sheet No. V-13-INV-115-1639 from the provincial prosecutor’s office.

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