DOJ, DOF AND BUREAUS TIGHTEN WATCH ON PENDING CASES
January 6, 2011http://www.dof.gov.ph/pressroom.asp?sec=news&id=353
“I have instructed our prosecutors handling the Run After The Smugglers (RATS) and Run After the Tax Evaders (RATES) cases filed starting July last year, especially those pending for resolution to already resolve them,” said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima during a press conference earlier today. The secretary, who has consistently backed the anti-smuggling and tax evasion campaign of Customs and BIR, has set a deadline and will be ready to give sanctions to prosecutors who will fail to meet this directive.
“The deadline is set on January 15 for cases filed since July of last year. Respective handling prosecutors of six recent RATS cases and two RATE cases have already been given directives to ensure the resolution of these cases before the month ends. We also currently have 12 old cases from years 2005-2006 pending for resolution that we will be prioritizing,” Secretary de Lima added, referring to long-pending cases ready for resolution.
She added: “Should the prosecutors miss their deadlines, we have an internal policy to defer payments of their allowances and benefits until such time the cases are completely resolved. This is, of course, just an initial course of action to show our commitment to the Department of Finance in its efforts to curb smuggling and tax evasion that incurs huge revenue losses for the government.“
Since July, the Bureau of Customs and the BIR have been under new management and have proactively revived the RATS and RATES program, filing cases every week on alternate basis against smugglers and tax evaders. There are 46 pending cases to date at the Department of Justice.
“We want to thank Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for fully supporting this campaign. The teamwork between the departments and within the cabinet has been excellent. We try to help each other as much as we can. Naniniwala kami na maitutuwid po natin itong landas ng ating bayan,” said Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima who was also present during the press conference.