Katax…. we are never created to live depressed, defeated, anxious, guilty, ashamed or unworthy. We are created to be VICTORIOUS!
Crim. Case No. 18- 0661 People of the Philippines versus Emelino T. Maestro — DISMISSED.
It is another sweet victory for ETM TAO’s founder and the katax community as Court of Tax Appeals, Quezon City, issued a Resolution on May 24, 2018 regarding alleged tax evasion case filed by BIR against Emelino T. Maestro. The case ran for more than 6 years from initial filing of complaint until the issuance of formal criminal charge against the latter.
Upon its finding the Department of Justice (DOJ) Task Force on BIR incurred unjustified delay in their conduct of preliminary investigation. Thus, the Court of Tax Appeals dismissed the Crim. Case No. 18- 0661 mainly to uphold ETM constitutional right to the Speedy Disposition of his case.
DOJ Task Force on BIR took 3 years before filing an Information for the offense against ETM without a good reason explaining the unreasonable delay. Such delay clearly showed lack of institutional resources/proofs against the latter and deprived him of his right for speedy disposition of his case.
Last February 20, 2013, ETM filed for motion for speedy resolution of his case. However, the DOJ Task Force on BIR did not act on the said motion until July 24, 2017 where they issued a resolution for probable cause against him. The Court of Appeals ruled that the long delay in termination of preliminary investigation is violative of constitutional right for speedy disposition of his case.
What is right to speedy trial?
A speedy trial is one conducted according to the law of criminal procedure and the rules and regulations, free from vexatious, capricious and oppressive delays. The fundamental purpose of this constitutional right is to prevent the oppression of an accused by delaying criminal prosecution for an indefinite period of time.
Unjustified postponements which prolong the trial for an unreasonable length of time are what offend the right of the accused to speedy trial. The right to speedy trial allows reasonable continuance so as not to deprive the prosecution its day in court.
In the determining whether or not the right to a “speedy trial” has been violated, there are certain factors to be considered and weighed against each other. These are length of delay, reason for the delay, assertion of the right or failure to assert it, and prejudice caused by the delay. The same factors may also be considered in answering judicial inquiry whether or not a person officially charged with the administration of justice has violated the “speedy disposition of cases” guarantee.
With the definition above, this instigates a question – was the delay part on DOJ Task Force vexatious, capricious and oppressive? I believe yes.
On October 13, 2011, BIR filed a joint-complaint affidavit against ETM before the DOJ Task Force on BIR. On February 3, 2012, ETM filed his counter affidavit. On same date, the BIR filed its Joint Reply Affidavit. On February 20, 2013, ETM filed a Motion for Speedy Resolution dated 17 February 2013. However, the same was not given action by DOJ Task Force on BIR until July 24, 2017 where they issued an Information for a probable cause against ETM before the Court of Tax Appeals.
The years of delay evidently deprived ETM his right of Article III, Sec. 16. A right to speedy disposition of his case, a right guaranteed by constitution. Such right is preserved for the purpose of preventing oppression causing prejudice on the accused. However, the latter suffered the unmerited consequences of this violation of his right. Prejudice in sense that the he was disadvantaged in living under the cloud of anxiety, suspicion and often hostility. And that he was even subjected to public discredit.
For this reason, the Court of Tax Appeals granted the latter’s motion to quash and affirmed the fundamental importance of the accused, who is presumed` innocent, to have the opportunity to clean his name and reputation at the earliest possible time.
With ETM’s recent victory, this set a perfect example for me to do away with ignorance of law and to suffuse myself with lawful rights to perform my duties and responsibilities as a citizen of this country. Most of our constitutional rights are not really known to everyone. This ignorance of law paves way for dishonest government officials to feed their personal desires at the expense of hardworking taxpayers. Especially in the Bureau of Internal Revenue, some of them are placed in those positions to be public servants to serve us. But what happens is we become the servants for them instead – caused by our own ignorance.
Katax, let’s put a stop to this. Let us make an endeavor to search for knowledge to help not only yourself but our other kataxpayers out there. Let’s beat the harassment and harm that some BIR officials and employees are hurling against you.