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‘Solar 1’ owners may be guilty of tax evasion

September 11, 2006

By Ronnie E. Calumpita, Reporter
Manila Times

IN addition to the damages they had to settle, the owner or owners of Solar 1, the oil tanker that sank off Guimaras Island, may also be guilty of tax evasion.

At the hearing conducted by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Clean Water, the members found that Sunshine Maritime Development Corp., which owned the tanker, had declared an income of only P3.9 million in 2004, as shown by the record of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sen. Franklin Drilon raised an eyebrow over the amount, saying Petron Corp. is only one of its clients, and paid the firm P75 million in 2004 for services.

“It’s your misfortune that your company was involved in this,” Drilon told Gregorio Flores, the firm’s corporate secretary at the hearing. “Your company is not paying the right taxes.”

Drilon asked Flores to submit the company’s income-tax returns for 2003, 2004 and 2005 and the listing of its clients. Meanwhile, he said, the firm’s president, Clemente Cancio, will be summoned to appear in the next hearing.

(For the full story, click Tax evasion, Sept. 12, 2006.)

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