Doctor convicted of failure to obey summons

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Friday, July 4, 2014

A DOCTOR in the city has been found guilty beyond reasonable doubt for failing to obey summons, thus, violating Section 266 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 or the Tax Reform Act of 1997 (RA 8424).

In a decision penned by Judge Romualdo E. Galarrita of Branch 3 of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, 10th Judicial Region, Dr. Segundina Lim Velasco, an anesthesiologist connected with one of the hospitals in the city, is sentenced to a year in prison and asked to pay a fine of P5,000.

Velasco’s offense was on her failure to obey subpoena sent to her by the court, according to lawyer Dondanon Galera of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Regional Office No. 16 Legal Office.


Velasco was summoned to appear before the Legal Division of BIR-16 here and submit her book of accounts and other accounting records relative to her Internal Tax Return for 2009. There was no response from Velasco.

During her arraignment on April 22, 2013, Velasco pleaded not guilty to the above information.

However, she admitted during her pre-trial on June 27, 2013 that she received BIR’s subpoena addressed to her on January 16, 2012 requiring her to appear and present her tax records for 2009 on January 26 of the same year for purposes of examination and audit.

Velasco failed to appear on the said date and submitted her requirements to BIR on April 17, 2013 instead, after the case was filed against her at the City Prosecutor’s Office.

Witness Cherry Mae P. Sumandar, revenue officer of BIR District Office No. 98, testified in court as the authorized person to examine Velasco’s books of account and accounting records to determine her tax liabilities for tax year 2009.

Sumandar admitted she had difficulty in locating Velasco, so instead she met with Edna Velasco, the doctor’s sister- in-law, who received the letter of authority and the first notice.

Edna refused to give the exact address of the accused.

Velasco did not respond to the first notice, thus was served a second notice last September 21, 2011, which was still received by Edna and ignored, the document this paper gathered read.

On November 15, 2011 a final notice with a warning to refer the case to BIR legal division was issued with a requisite subpoena.

In this attempt, there was still no response from Velasco.

“She was investigated for her income tax liabilities. The requirements were demanded from her, book of accounts, official receipts for all income, quarter income tax returns, etc. and she did not submit,” Atty. Galera said.

Chapter 2 Section 266 on the National Internal Revenue states that “any person who, being duly summoned to appear to testify, or to appear and produce books of accounts, records, memoranda, or other papers, or to furnish information as required, neglects to appear or produce such books of accounts, records, memoranda or other papers shall, upon conviction, be punished…”

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro visited the office of lawyer Antonio Amarga, Velasco's legal counsel, on Thursday to get comments from Velasco. However, Amarga’s staff told this reporter that the lawyer wasn’t available for an interview yesterday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 04, 2014.

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