Iloilo City gov’t to Peco: Pay P51M in franchise taxes

MANILA (AdChoiceTV News) — The Iloilo City government is demanding that the Panay Electric Company (Peco) pay the P51 million in franchise taxes it allegedly owes the city.

In a letter dated June 16, Atty. Edgardo Gil, chief of the City Legal Office, called out Peco for its “continued refusal” to remit or pay to the city government the franchise taxes it collected as part of billed monthly electricity charges in 2019.

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“In particular, despite having already paid the 1st quarter payments for the said tax, you refused to remit/pay to the city the 2nd, 3rd, 4th quarter payments amounting to P51,425,406.37, excluding legal interest and other charges,” Gil said.

“The said collected 2019 franchise tax payments are still in your control and possession without any legal authority for you to do so, and failure to pay/remit the same to the City constitutes the crime of syndicated estafa,” he warned.

Gil also urged Peco to remit the amount within five days from the receipt of the letter. “Otherwise the City has no choice other than to file immediately the necessary case for the criminal case of syndicated estafa,” he added.

He noted that failure to pay the said franchise tax is tantamount to appropriating it for personal use which constitutes the crime of syndicated estafa.

According to Gil, the taxes should have been used to augment the city’s COVID-19 efforts.

“The people of Iloilo will no doubt experience grave and irreparable damage if these are not paid,” he said.

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“Consider this as the initial step leading to the filing of a criminal case against you, your fellow executive officers and the members of the Board,” said Gil.

He also urged Peco officials to discuss a possible settlement with the Office of the City Treasurer “in order to avoid embarrassment and expenses of litigation.”

Peco has yet to respond to the statements made by the Iloilo City government as of posting time.

/LMT — AdChoiceTV News (Visayas)

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