BY PET MELLIZA/ THE BEEKEEPER
Taxpayers benefited nothing from the act of police operatives who arrested Rommel Ynion in the midst of the rally of the Gonzalez-Ynion-Ganzon group at Bitoon, Jaro last May 1.
The disruption of the caucus merely raised brows on the manner the arrest warrant was served and ignited the cry political persecution.
Ynion is challenging Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog on May 13.
Taxpayers’ money was expended just to defray the expenses of the PNP intel team based at Camp Crame who clandestinely flew all the way from Manila to Iloilo.
The incident merely catapulted Ynion to a higher level of political stardom, at the expense of taxpayers. Not even actress Solenn Heusaff who was sued by the BIR for the same crime was accorded that rare privilege of being arrested at night, on a holiday (May 1 is International Labor Day), and in the middle of the show, all to ensure that no court was open and the accused must, while being detained for the night, wait for office hours the next day to process his bail bond.
Heusaff was allowed by the BIR to exercise her right to due process by being informed of the charge against her and given opportunity to answer it. That procedure also enabled her, which she did, to settle her tax deficiency, thus, sparing the State the expenses of prosecuting her case.
The BIR in the Ynion case, has become a tool for the administration party. To put it bluntly, it has conveniently served as weapon for Sen. Franklin Drilon, suspected brain behind the anti-Ynion heist. The arrest warrant could have been served by local law enforcers like the Iloilo City PNP or the regional office of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). The operation was top secret that no less than the PNP’s central intel unit served it as if the accused were a fugitive or hardened criminal.
PNP stations have warrant officers assigned to enforce court orders. Our locals can distinguish fugitives or hardened criminals from those charged with petty crime like tax evasion.
Yours truly had a memorable encounter with these kind officers. A court once issued an arrest warrant on me for libel; the warrant officer simply alerted me to put up a bail bond so there’s no need to arrest me at all, libel being a petty crime.
Tax evasion is a light offense penalized by P30,000 fine or four years imprisonment maximum.
Two weeks ago, columnist Peter Jimenea’s hands were full contacting a surety agency in Manila to sleuth around for arrest warrants on Ynion who had been tipped off by contacts from the NBI. They discovered eight charges filed in different courts, for estafa and bouncing checks.
Ynion was being lulled in blissful innocence without being informed of the charges against him so to be given opportunity to rebut his accusers, a constitutional right that strategists for the incumbent mayor skirted. Their purpose is to sully the man’s name, thus, ensure his political perdition.
Ynion was able to put up sureties for his provisional liberty, after the timely tip from NBI insiders. However, he was not given opportunity to answer tax evasion charges which the BIR simultaneously filed with the Iloilo media and the public prosecutor.
These dirty tricks have boomeranged; they merely invited public indignation.