Saturday, June 16, 2007

The Empire Strikes Back

City strikes back at the Chronicle

The mayor’s political henchmen have gone to work and have staged a basklash against the Negros Chronicle and the people behind this paper.
This is the result, after the Negros Chronicle, and its writers ran a series of stories, articles and commentaries unfavorable to Mayor Agustin Perdices and his lieutenants.
This has been seen as an obvious attempt to purge and punish the Negros Chronicle for writing pieces not to the liking of the powers-that-be at city hall.
One of the mayor’s foot-soldiers, the controversial Harrison Gonzales, who himself has been underfire for his ignominious unliquidated cash advances from the peoples’ pockets, has directly accused the publisher of the Negros Chronicle, and his entire family including myself, of committing the crime of TAX EVASION.
In Harrison Gonzales’ privilege speech, Mayor Perdices’ trusted and loyal man-Friday at the city council, he said:

"Moreover, they have been wrongly intimating the fact that I seemingly, do not have respect for the law, that I should step down, I want to hurl back the same suggestion to them. I also urge them to show respect for the law by paying the forty-five thousand nine hundred and twenty-two pesos and fifty centavos (P45,922.50) which they owe the city government in amusement taxes. I understand that a member of the Dejaresco family was responible for leading the group named Bell Tower Productions which sponsored the Christian Bautista concert in 2005, and whose amusement taxes to the government has remained unpaid till now. By not paying, they are openly cheating and shortchanging the city government of Dumaguete of the much needed revenue. This is a clear case of tax evasion."

Although not mentioning me by name, he specifically referred to me as the writer and member of the Dejaresco family who wrote the article “ABC vacancy in the city council.”
That sufficiently identifies me because my by-line is seen below the title of the article in the May 20, 2007 issue of the Chronicle.
To accuse a person and his family of tax evasion is a serious public and malicious imputation of a crime.
Gonzales made the privilege speech after the article unfavorable to him was published.
The malice of Gonzales is patent because he is fully aware and even studied the request of Bell Tower Productions for a reduction of their amusement tax payables.
I speak for my family Harrison Gonzales has falsely accused.
None of us have committed the crime of tax evasion against the city government.
Tax evasion is a crime and punishable because it is a taxpayer’s insidious, deceitful, efforts to evade, hide, and escape payment of taxes which are due the government.
A common example of tax evasion is the maintenance of two accounting books for one’s business---one reflecting the true account, the other “para sa B.I.R.”
None in our family has ever tried to deceive the city government with respect to taxes.
What is the basis of Mayor Perdices’ favorite councilor to accuse us of tax evasion?
They dug into the files of the city treasurer’s office.
And they found the unpaid tax liability of Bell Tower Productions in the amount of P45,922.50.
Bell Tower Productions is an un-incorporated concert production entity which promoted the concert of Christian Batustia in 2005.
The young men and women behind Bell Tower Productions included Jeffrey Real and his wife Marilen D. Real, daughter of Ely P. Dejaresco, publisher of the Negros Chronicle.
Bell Tower Productions reported to the city treasurer its inability to pay all the amusement taxes because the Christian Bautista concert did not generate the estimated tickets sales.
Bell Tower Productions thus requested for a reduction of the amusement tax to five percent, which the city government rejected.
Bell Tower Productions reported to the city treasurer’s office the actual, and true financial statement of the concert.
Bell Tower Productions had ALL the tickets stamped by the city treasurer’s office.
One member of the Bell Tower Productions was told by somebody from the city treasurer’s office that concerrt organizers and promoters almost always try not to have all the concert tickets stamped so they would pay less amusement taxes.
That is the usual practice by most concert promoters, according to a source from the city treasurer’s office itself.
But Bell Tower Productions refused this illegal practice and would rather report everything to the government and have all the tickets stamped.
True enough, Bell Tower Productions was able to uncover and possess tickets of other concerts which did not bear any stamp from the city treasurer’s office.
Bell Tower Productions still has these tickets as evidence.
This prompted Bell Tower Productions to inquire from the city treasurer’s office why there were tickets of other concerts that did not have any stamp from their office.
If there is no stamp, then there is no way the government would know exactly the number of tickets sold.
In order to evade the payment of the correct taxes, some concert promoters only declare and submit to the city treasurer’s office far fewer tickets, than what is actually sold to the public.
As a result, the government is paid far less than what is actually due.
That is how cheating is done with respect to evading the payment of amusement taxes.
Until now the city treasurer’s office has not responded to our query.
So where is the tax evasion, when Bell Tower Productions reported everything to the city treasurer’s office?
Tax evasion is hiding, and deceiving the government in order to evade the payment of the correct taxes.
On the contrary, Bell Tower Productions reported everything to the city treasurer, and even rejected the idea of mis-declaring the number of tickets sold.
If a person is unable to pay his tax after reporting a loss, that is not tax evasion.
Gonzales, a law-maker, should know that.
If the city treasurer’s office intends to single out Bell Tower Productions, then we suggest that the city treasurer comply with the procedures and remedies laid down in the local government code in collection of local taxes.
But before it singles out Bell Tower Productions, the city treasurer should first respond to our request since long ago for documents and information about the other concerts held in Dumaguete, particularly why some of their tickets do not bear the government stamps.
All relevant documents and correspondences of Bell Tower Productions is posted in my blog at
But what is ridiculous is Harry Gonzales’ desperate imputation of the crime of tax evasion not only upon Bell Tower Productions, but also to the other relatives of Bell Tower members who have nothing to do with Bell Tower Productions in the first place, like the publisher of this paper and myself.
After falsely and maliciously accusing Bell Tower Productions of committing tax evasion, Gonzales proceeded to accuse family members of tax evasion too.
In the mind of Gonzales, if Juan shoots Pedro, then homicide charges should be filed against Juan’s father, Juan’s brother and the rest of the members of Juan’s family.
Harry should stop getting (il)legal advise from that corrupt, crooked and hare-brained lawyer, who has an axe to grind against this paper.
It’s for Harry’s own good.


Anonymous said...


You have just crafted winning arguments worth-pondering as to the issue in question.

Being a registered law student at the California Bar, I have learned alot from your style of argumentation.

Keep posting more articles, Jay.


Granville Ampong
Former President of Silliman Junior Business Executives 1998-90.
BBA '90

Jay Dejaresco said...

Salamat for your kind inspiring words. Comments like these, make events worth writing.
We must have gone to SU-CBA more or less at the same time. I was batch '92.