John Ted Cordero | GMA News | June 27, 2017

A partylist lawmaker on Saturday called on the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to investigate the alleged tax fraud committed by Metro Rail Transit maintenance provider Busan Universal Railway Inc. (BURI).

"This is already beyond greed. BURI wants us to pay them P3.8 billion for very sloppy service and still wants to cheat us by misdeclaring in their tax filings. They have perjured in Congress before and it is not surprising that they have falsified documents through the years," Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta Partylist Rep. Jericho Nograles said in a statement.

In a letter to Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Cesar Dulay, Nograles asked the agency to look into the tax filings of the BURI incorporators namely Busan Universal Rail Inc., Elpidio Silvestre Uy of Edison Development and Construction, Tramat Mercantile Inc, TMIcorp Inc., Castan Corp., and Busan Transportation Corp.

The lawmaker claimed that based on his investigation, at least four of BURI incorporators have misdeclared their taxable financial assets obviously to deny the government its much-needed tax revenues.

"It came to my attention that the aforementioned companies have invested huge amounts of money but have not appropriately filed or declared the same," Nograles said.

The lawmaker, who is a known critic of the MRT system, cited the case of Edison Development and Construction, which did not declare their supposed P124.8 million shareholding with BURI as required by law.

Tramat Mercantile Inc., on the other hand, reported having only P27.7 million in total assets but managed to invest P124.8 million worth of BURI shares, according to Nograles.

"This is the same case for TMICorp which declared that it has a paid up share of P102 million for BURI but declared no such amount in its Audited Financial Statement. Castan Corporation on the other hand has a paid up P60.3 million worth of shares on BURI but has declared only P5.3 million worth of actual assets," he said.

Nograles alleged that either Tramat, TMICorp., and Castan under-declared the actual value of their assets to decrease their tax obligations or were simply acting as dummy companies with no real capability to enter into any government project.

"These irregularities if proven to be true, may be violative of the National Internal Revenue Code, the Anti-Dummy Law and other laws, rules and regulation," Nograles said.

Officials from the BURI are not immediately available to comment on the matter.