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BIR exec killed in ambush

A regional director of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) was killed at dawn yesterday in Quezon City, becoming the second ranking government official to fall to motorcycle-riding gunmen this month.

Jonas Amora, 55, a resident of Filinvest East, Antipolo City died from multiple bullet wounds while his driver, Angelito Pineda, 50, of Barangay Pinyahan, QC, survived and was rushed to hospital.

QCPD director Senior Supt. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said the ambush took place at 5:02 a.m. at the corner of Major Dizon St. and Katipunan Avenue in Barangay Escopa 2.

Eleazar said the victims were on board a white Toyota Innova on their way to Makati when the suspects, wearing helmets, cut their path and opened fire.

A Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) has been formed to investigate the incident, according to Eleazar.

“We will not leave any stone unturned in our investigation on the incident,” Eleazar said.

“So far we are still determining if the killing has something to do with his job as BIR regional chief or maybe personal,” he added.

Amora’s death came four days after Customs deputy commissioner Arturo Lachica was ambushed in Manila.

Meanwhile, revenue officials and employees nationwide expressed shock and disbelief over the assassination of Amora, the Makati revenue regional director.

They condemned the cowardly and fatal shooting of the 33-year tax veteran.

Officials paid tribute to the fallen comrade during the flag-raising ceremony with the flag flown at half mast. They could not come out with possible motives over the slaying.

Co-workers described him as dedicated, strict and hardworking with no known enemies in and out of the service.

He initiated closure of a number of business establishments in Metro Manila for serious violations of the Tax Code such as under declaration of sales by more than 30 percent.

A certified public accountant, Amora rose from the ranks starting as a revenue examiners in 1983 in Butuan City where his family migrated from Anda, Bohol.

Sometime in 1995, then BIR Commissioner Liwayway Vinzons Chato moved him to Metro Manila to head big district offices.

He was previously the Quezon City revenue regional director until he was transferred to Makati.

Informed sources said Amora politely declined recently offer to be promoted as assistant commissioner for large taxpayers service which handles the investigation of top corporations that contributes roughly 68 per cent of the annual total take of the bureau.

The same sources said that Amora had also welcomed speculations for a possible transfer to Mindanao.

BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay said that the shooting incident will not deter the bureau from doing its work if the intention was to sow fear among employees. (FRANCIS WAKEFIELD & JUN RAMIREZ)