THE Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) rejected the appeal of Duty Free Philippines Corp. following the dismissal by the CTA in division of its tax refund claim worth P156.5 million.

In an eight-page decision dated July 5, the CTA, sitting en banc, affirmed the decision of its second division on May 8, 2018 and July 26, 2018 resolution dismissing the refund claim on the value-added tax it paid on imported alcohol and tobacco in 2014.

The CTA held that under Presidential Decree (PD) No. 242 all disputes and claims solely between government agencies and offices, including government-owned or -controlled corporations, are to be settled administratively by the secretary of justice, solicitor-general, or the Government Corporate Counsel.

The parties to the case are the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Duty Free, an office attached to the Department of Tourism.

“Clearly, the petition involves a dispute solely between a government corporation and another government agency and as such, this Court is bereft of jurisdiction to take cognizance of the case,” the CTA ruled.

Under Section 2 of PD No. 242, all cases involving questions of law should be submitted to the secretary of justice. Section 3 of the decree, meanwhile, states the solicitor-general will adjudicate cases involving mixed questions of law and fact between government departments or offices while the Government Corporate Counsel settles claims between GOCCs or entities served by the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel.

The secretary of justice has jurisdiction over disputes that do not fall under the solicitor-general or Government Corporate Counsel, according to the decree.

The court’s second division also ruled in its decision that a copy of its May 8, 2018 ruling be provided to the secretary of justice.

The decision was written by Associate Justice Cielito N. Mindaro-Grulla. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas