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PIA Press Release

BIR reminds political candidates

Manila (12 February) -- THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) reminded last Wednesday the candidates running for national and local posts to start withholding and remitting taxes on political expenses.

BIR Commissioner Joel L. Tan-Torees instructed the agency's regional directors and revenue district officers to write letters to candidates asking them to pay the tax equivalent to five percent of their purchases of goods and services.

The BIR chief stressed that the tax is not imposed on the cash donations made by supporters of candidates but when these donations are used to fund their political campaigns.

The BIR expects to raise extra cash of up to P1.5 billion from the project dubbed "Kandidato Iboto Mo". (PIA-Bohol)

Supreme Court affirms poll automation contract

Manila (12 February) -- THE Supreme Court (SC) has junked motions for reconsideration filed by several groups seeking to reverse its earlier decision upholding the validity of the P7.2-billion poll automation contract between the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and Smartmatic-Total Information Management Corp. (TIM).

Voting 13-2, justices supported a 15-page resolution penned by Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr., which declares there was no irregularity and grave abuse of discretion committed by the Comelec in awarding the contract to Smartmatic-TIM.

Instead of undermining the efforts of the Comelec to transform the country's election system, the SC urged the petitioners to work hand-in-hand with the poll body to ensure the successful automation of the May 10 elections.

The decision effectively throws out all legal obstacles to the holding of the first ever nationwide automated elections on May 10. (PIA-Bohol) [top]

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