CEBU, Philippines — The city government will file charges against the owner of the controversial Rico’s Lechon for failing to pay taxes to the city regularly.

“We are going to be filing cases against them kay nagpahambog siya (Enrico Dionson) and he recorded in media that the sales is half a million a day, so that’s P180 million year, and the past five years, he has not paid anything and they are blaming my daughter-in-law. Maayo nalang si Bea kept all the texts,” the mayor said.

The mayor’s daughter-in-law used to be a business partner of the Dionson family.

Just last week, the Regional Trial Court denied the petition of 3MRS Dionson Corporation for the court to issue a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against the move of the city government to close down two branches and commissary of Rico’s Lechon.

The court said that “Unlike then Mayor Lim of Manila, Mayor Osmeña did not act whimsically in the closure of petitioner’s business establishment. He observed due process. The illusion of ill-motive pictured by the petitioner against Mayor Osmeña is not even ostensible.”

Until today, since the stores were closed down in August, the Dionsons have not paid taxes to the city, Osmeña said.

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Because of this, city lawyers are studying the charges to be filed.

The Freeman tried to get the comment of the Dionson family but they chose to remain silent.

Shortly after their stores were closed down, the Dionson family said the move was a form of personal vendetta for their decision to end their partnership with the mayor’s daughter-in-law, Bea Villegas Osmeña.

In a Facebook post, the mayor said his daughter-in-law made follow-ups with the Dionsons to secure business permits.

Tax mapping by the City Treasurer’s Office showed Rico’s Lechon’s branch in Barangay Mabolo did not have a business permit from 2012 to 2017 while its branch in Escario Street did not have a business permit since it opened this year.

The city legal office then issued a notice to comply, as well as a show-cause order, but the Dionsons still failed to comply, prompting the city to close its stores in August.

Osmeña said the city will continue to crack down business establishments that are operating without permits.

“This is how the people of Cebu is being cheated, that is why the rich getting richer…You know the Sari-Sari stall in Carbon pays more compared to those who earns more,” he said.

The most recent store he ordered closed is the Ramos branch of the famous Abuhan restaurant. The owner, Jose Antonio Osmeña, is his first degree cousin.

“All those of you: If you are caught and if you have no business permit, we will close you down and you cannot reopen maybe for two or three years,” he warned businesses here. —/JMO (FREEMAN)



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