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Local player cries foul

  • Written by Dennis F. Fetalino
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 157

When you have the home-court advantage of legions of loyal patrons, you don’t need underhanded tactics to win the game fairly and squarely.

Lamang na kaagad eh, at least psychologically, that is.

When the thing that you do is easily within reach by more people, that advantage is multiplied even further.
And so when you are way ahead of the pack, you simply don’t cheat your way in to the homestretch and make a deceitful dash to the finish line.
These thoughts come to mine as Pedxing digested the news about an  alleged unlawful commercial act of a local manufacturing pioneer.
One can only be outraged by the ridiculous claim.
But considering the local manufacturing pioneer’s dominance in the domestic market arena, the wild accusation should no longer be a big surprise.
Conscious of its innocence, the company explained its game play in a very sober, subdued manner thus:
Mighty Corporation, the country’s only Filipino-owned cigarette manufacturer effectively fighting competition against a monopolistic multinational tobacco company, strongly denied it is using fake stamps in its operation.
“Our operation is transparent and closely monitored by revenue authorities from sourcing of raw materials to manufacturing and withdrawals of cigarettes,” said retired regional court judge Oscar P. Barrientos, MC executive vice president and spokesman.
“In fact” he said, “our company’s operation is the only one monitored by closed-circuit cameras required by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and it’s also on records that MC has spearheaded the campaign all over the country against the proliferation of  fake cigarettes using fake stamps.”
Barrientos was reacting to a headline story ran by major broadsheet quoting BIR Commissioner Cesar Dulay that “BIR is investigating homegrown cigarette manufacturer Mighty Corp. for allegedly using fake tax stamps on its products”.
Barrientos said as of today MC has not received any notice of investigation by the BIR and if ever there would be, “we are prepared for it as our records are always open for scrutiny by the BIR.”
“We are hoping that if ever this is done, BIR should include in its investigation not only local manufacturers but also multinational companies and their local partners who are known for importing large quantities of raw materials without paying correct taxes to the prejudice of our local farmers,” he said.
“It’s on records that as early as two years ago, Mighty has coordinated with BIR, Bureau of Customs, police and the National Bureau of Investigation in the seizures of fake Mighty cigarettes and other brands and the arrest and indictment of persons involved in the smuggling, manufacturing and marketing of contraband cigarettes,” the MC EVP said.
He said Mighty has been subjected to unfair publicity by its rivals after its products, known for their smooth and superior blending, eat a large share of their market in the low-priced category once dominated by multinational rivals who remit abroad a large part of their income to the prejudice of the Philippine economy.
Two years ago, a ranking member of Congress had requested then Customs Commissioner John Sevilla to look into the highly irregular release of 500 containers of raw materials for the manufacturing of cigarettes from the customs zone in Manila.
The investigation, involving a multinational company, was never heard of again.
Wonder of wonders.
Behold God’s glory and seek His mercy.
Pause and pray, people.