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Pasig court resets Maria Ressa’s arraignment

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A Pasig City regional trial court (RTC) has postponed the arraignment of Rappler president Maria Ressa over the tax evasion case she is facing.

Pasig Judge Danilo Buemio cancelled Friday’s (Dec. 7) arraignment due to Ressa’s pending motion to dismiss the tax case against her.

Because of this, the magistrate reset the arraignment to Feb. 6.

In her motion, Ressa asked the court to either dismiss the case or remand it to the Department of Justice.

The case was filed after the DOJ found probable cause her and Rappler Holdings Corporation (RHC) for violating the National Revenue Code of the Philippines.

Apart from the tax evasion case at the Pasig RTC, the DOJ also filed four tax charges against her at the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA).

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) which alleged that RHC’s 2015 tax returns showed P162.5 million earnings 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.

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