Manila, Philippines – The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) dismissed yesterday the tax evasion charges filed against movie and television star Judy Ann Santos by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) for insufficiency of evidence.
But the tax court ordered her to pay the BIR some P3.4 million in deficiency income tax, including interests and surcharges.
The former soap opera star sobbed silently and shed tears upon hearing the verdict read by the clerk of court of the CTA’s Third Division presided by Justice Lovell Bautista. Ms. Santos said: “thank God it was over,” as she hurriedly left the courtroom with her husband TV host Ryan Agoncillo.
In acquitting the former soap opera star of the criminal aspect of the case, the CTA said the prosecutors failed to probe beyond reasonable doubt that she intended to evade payment of correct taxes.
BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares refused to make comment, saying she has not yet seen the decision. But BIR lawyers who were present during the reading of the sentence expressed dismay and said they might appeal the decision. One of the lawyers said “the BIR can appeal by certionari in the acquittal and Ms. Santos may appeal the civil liabilities.” (