Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña: ‘I will not let BDO fool this city’


“A janitor in city hall pays about P5,000 a year in taxes, this BDO branch pays city hall P2,000 a year. One guesses: Who is richer?” 

One can almost hear the disappointment in Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña's letter for a Banco de Oro branch in Cebu City located in the heart of Chinatown.

Osmena's letter further stated that that the average BDO branch in Magallanes Street pays only P6 a day in business taxes. The signed statement, posted on Friday, February 10, is written on the city government's official paper with the city's seal.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña: ‘I will not let BDO fool this city’

“I will not let BDO fool this city, not under my watch. No sir, they can fool the rest of the country, but not here. My message to BDO is: Alis diyan,” he said in his letter.  

With the assistance of the City Legal Officer Joseph Bernaldez, Osmeña filed a criminal complaint before the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor against the BDO executives and board of directors. Osmeña accused the bank officials of “other deceit”, “falsification by private individuals,” and of violating the City Tax Ordinance. 

The keen-eyed mayor said that the BDO-Magallanes St. branch in Cebu City allegedly under-declared and falsified its declaration of gross sales of P400,000 to the City Treasurer’s Office. 

“They declared that their gross revenues for the year are P400,000. On P33,000 a month, that’s not even enough to pay the manager,” Osmeña said. Among the accused are Teresita Sy-Coson, BDO Unibank chairwoman; Jesus Albert Jacinto, vice-chairman; Nestor Tan, president; Antonio Cotoco and Walter Wassmer, senior executive vice-presidents; the executive vice-presidents, senior vice-presidents and the bank’s directors.

Just last November 2016, Osmeña also held other corporations accountable and filed criminal complaints against four SM Prime Holdings, Inc. officials for allegedly misrepresenting by intent the size of SM Seaside City to reduce its tax obligations to the City Government, amounting to approximately P23 million.

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