Philippines to charge news site Rappler for tax evasion

The Philippine government is alleging Rappler’s top executive, Maria Ressa, had attempted to evade paying taxes by not reporting gains of almost $3 million in its 2015 tax returns. (Reuters)
Updated 09 November 2018
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Philippines to charge news site Rappler for tax evasion

  • There was ‘probable cause’ to indict Rappler for violation of the country’s tax laws
  • Its top executive, Maria Ressa, had attempted to evade paying taxes by not reporting gains of almost $3 million in its 2015 tax returns

MANILA: The Philippines’ justice department said on Friday it had found cause to indict online news site Rappler and its top executive for tax evasion.
The justice department said it “found probable cause” to indict Rappler for violation of the country’s tax laws after it did not declare gains made in its 2015 tax returns.
Rappler said in a statement the indictment “is a clear form of harassment” and “an attempt to silence reporting that does not please the administration.”
The news site’s lawyer, Francis Lim, also said the case “has no legal leg to stand on” because Rappler did not evade any tax obligation.
Rappler is a frequent critic of the Philippines’ leader, Rodrigo Duterte, questioning the accuracy of his public statements and scrutinizing his war on drugs and his foreign policy decisions.
In a resolution last month, but made public only on Friday, a state prosecutor upheld a complaint from the internal revenue agency that Rappler and its top executive, Maria Ressa, had attempted to evade paying taxes by not reporting gains of almost $3 million in its 2015 tax returns.
The justice department’s statement said that the state prosecutor had dismissed Ressa’s defense that “the non-declaration of such gain was neither intentional nor willful.”


Malta journalist murder masterminds identified: report

Three men stand charged with Caruana Galizia’s murder. (Reuters)
Updated 18 November 2018
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Malta journalist murder masterminds identified: report

  • A group of “more than two” Maltese nationals had been identified as having ordered her killing
  • Caruana Galizia, who died on October 16 last year aged 53, sought to expose scandals from petrol smuggling to money laundering, implicating members of the government and organized crime

VALLETTA: The masterminds behind the 2017 car-bomb murder of Maltese journalist and blogger Daphne Caruana Galizia have been identified according to unnamed police sources quoted by The Sunday Times of Malta.
The report quoted high-ranking officers as saying that a group of “more than two” Maltese nationals had been identified as having ordered her killing.
Three suspects are under arrest for having carried out the murder and facing trial, but the identity of whoever ordered it has remained a mystery.
Caruana Galizia, who died on October 16 last year aged 53, sought to expose scandals from petrol smuggling to money laundering, implicating members of the government and organized crime.
Her blog also launched highly personal attacks on Maltese politicians.
Caruana Galizia’s journalist son Matthew last month blasted what he called a “system of impunity” he said was protecting those who ordered her killing.
Her son, who believes the murder was ordered by powerful figures, said it would “send a terrible lesson if only the people who pressed the button to detonate the bomb ended up in prison.”
Three men stand charged with her murder. Brothers Alfred Degiorgio and George Degiorgio as well as Vince Muscat were arrested on December 4 last year and charged with the murder. Their case is still pending.
The Caruana Galizia family said on Sunday that they was not formally informed by the police that the suspected masterminds had been identified.