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‘Di nga nagbayad! DOJ finds probable cause to indict Rappler, Maria Ressa for tax evasion

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News website Rappler and its president Maria Ressa faces indictment over the at least P108 million in taxes owed to the government.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Friday (Nov. 9) that Assistant State Prosecutor Zenamar Machacon-Caparros has issued a resolution which found probable cause to charge the respondents for willful attempt to evade or defeat tax and willful failure to supply correct and accurate information.

The resolution resolved the complaint filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which alleged that RHC’s 2015 tax returns its earnings P162.5 million from the issuance of its Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to NBM Rappler L.P. and Omidyar Network Find LLC.

A PDR is a security which grants the holder the right to the delivery or sale of the underlying shares of stocks.

“In her resolution, Caparros ruled RI (Rappler Inc.) shares for the purposes of underwriting PDRs for resale to interested buyers, RHC acted as a middleman whose profits were taxable under the Tax Code,” read the DOJ statement.

“By not declaring such profits in its returns, the RHC has violated the Tax Code,” it stated.

Because of this, RHC owes the government around P108 million in taxes.

This includes P91,320,480.99 in income tax including surcharge and interests as well as P17,138,467.78 in value added tax excluding surcharge and interests.