Press Release
June 19, 2011

Trillanes wants Palace to probe Sulit's mishandling
of P5.2-billion tax credit scam

Senator Antonio "Sonny" F. Trillanes IV has asked Malacanang to also look into the role of suspended Special Prosecutor Wendell Barrera-Sulit in the bungled handling of the cases against spouses Faustino and Gloria Chingkoe in connection with a multibillion-peso tax credit scam.

According to Trillanes, witnesses have approached his office to offer their testimonies and evidence on the failure of Sulit carry out her duty that has allowed the Chingkoe couple to flee the Philippines despite a plunder case lodged against them in 2009.

Sulit has been slapped with a 90-day administrative preventive suspension last Wednesday after she was formally charged by the Palace for graft and betrayal of public trust for forging a plea bargain deal with retired military comptroller Carlos F. Garcia, who is also facing a plunder case.

"Indeed, it appears that the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has failed to prevent the Chingkoe spouses - the principal accused in the P5.2 billion tax credit scam - from going abroad despite the plunder charge against them, thus, virtually allowing them to flee the country," Trillanes emphasized.

The young legislator said the witnesses claimed that the OSP did not even file a petition to cancel the bail of the Chingkoes or move for their arrest and to try their cases in absencia, which is allowed in cases where the accused has jumped bail. "Strangely, even the Sandiganbayan has apparently suspended the trial of the case since 2009," he pointed out.

The OSP, Trillanes explained, could have asked the court or the Department of Foreign Affairs to cancel the passports of the Chingkoes, seek the help of the Interpol since they are fugitive from justice, or even initiate extradition requests. However, the senator said, "no such efforts have been made."

"I am greatly disturbed and gravely concerned by this apparent pattern of action of the OSP of going easy on the accused in multimillion and multibillion cases. It sends the wrong signal that those who steal in the millions or billions could get away with their crimes and even get to keep the money they stole to boot," Trillanes lamented.

Trillanes also called upon the Supreme Court to look into why the Sandiganbayan has apparently acquiesced into the irregular handling of the tax credit scam cases to forestall the necessity of initiating a Senate investigation into the matter.

News Latest News Feed