News Release

Palace welcomes P40-B tax settlement of Mighty Corp.

Malacañang on Saturday, October 7, welcomed the P40-billion settlement of Mighty Corporation with the government, which is expected to fund the Duterte administration’s infrastructure programs.

“Mighty Corporation, the country’s number two cigarette manufacturer, has entered into a P40-billion compromise settlement with the government regarding its tax liability,” Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement aired over Radio Pilipinas.

Abella said the said tax settlement is the largest in Philippine history and will go a long way in funding the Duterte administration’s infrastructure program.

The Palace official also stresed that the Duterte administration will be relentless in its campaign against corruption and delinquent taxpayers, “haling violators to court, if necessary.”

“As citizens cooperate, we build a comfortable life for all. Strong political will to benefit all, and not just a few, should be the trademark of the entire government,” Abella said.

Meanwhile, Malacañang said the surrender of Maasim, Sarangani Mayor Aniceto Lopez, Jr. underscores how deeply entrenched narco-politics is in the country.

“The raid by PDEA operatives of the rest house of the Maasim mayor, where P5 million worth of suspected shabu and a mini-shabu laboratory were seized, proves the Administration’s claim that illegal drugs and corruption have captured local politics,” Abella said.

He then called on the public to continue supporting the government’s campaign in eliminating illegal drugs.

“Progress against illegal drugs largely depends on the full support and cooperation of everyone from the citizens to the church and communities,” Abella said.

In the same radio briefing, Abella explained that the statement of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that there is no extrajudicial killing under the Duterte administration is based on the operational guidelines of Administrative Order (AO) No. 35, which was adopted and signed on April 18, 2013.

Under AO No. 35, EJK is referred to as killings where “the victim was a member of, or affiliated with an organization, to include political, environmental, agrarian, labor, or similar causes; or an advocate of above-named causes; or a media practitioner or person(s) apparently mistaken or identified to be so.”

AO No. 35 also referred to EJKs when “the victim was targeted and killed because of the actual or perceived membership, advocacy, or profession; or the person/s responsible for the killing is a state agent or non-state agent; and the method and circumstances of attack reveal a deliberate intent to kill.”

“AO 35 has not been repealed or revoked; thus, the definition of EJK remains the same,” Abella said.

“Having said that, we wish to emphasize that one death is one too many,” he said.

Abella also assured that regardless of this definition, these deaths are being addressed “to ensure the accountability of perpetrators, even as it calls upon witnesses and individuals who can provide valuable evidence that will lead to speedy resolution of cases.” ### (PND)