Former Shell execs file case against ex-Customs officials, journalist

Pilipinas Shell doubles net profits to P7.4 billion for 2016

Former executives of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. have filed a case against a former customs official and two others for perjury.

Criminal complaints were filed against former Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales, former Port of Batangas Collector Juan Tan and Batangas-based journalist Lourdes Aclan for accusing them of illegal importation of unleaded gasoline.

Former Shell executives Nigel Avila and Roberto Kanapi, together Edgar Chua, who previously led Shell, filed the complaint at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on January 4, 2017.

“In a desperate attempt to give a semblance of validity to what is otherwise a frivolous and baseless complaint, the respondents deliberately and willfully made blatantly false statements which are material to sustain their trumped up charges,” the complainants said.

The three were accused of illegal importation and violation of Republic Act 3019, also known as the Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, in a complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman last year.

This was in relation to Shell’s non-payment of taxes allegedly due to its past importation of catalytic cracked gasoline and light catalytic cracked gasoline (CCG/LCCG) and Alkylate.

These chemicals are blending components in manufacturing gasoline which are not subject to internal revenue taxes collected by the Bureau of Customs for the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

These have deprived the government of excise and value added taxes amounting to P100 billion, including interests and surcharges.

No proof

The complainants said there is no proof to support the allegations.

Also accused are former President Benigno Aquino III and former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima for letting the company to bring unleaded gasoline without paying taxes.

In the affidavit, the complainants said Morales and Tan made their own interpretation of the rules and insisted that double excise taxes should be imposed on the PSPC’s importation of CCG and LCCG.

The former Shell officials also insisted that the company complied with prevailing rules and regulations promulgated by the BIR from 2003 to 2009, implemented by Morales and Tan themselves, having been collecting agents of the government office.