MANILA- Businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and her husband, Jaime did not appear on Monday’s first preliminary investigation on their tax evasion cases before the Department of Justice.

The Napoles couple was represented by lawyer Romeo Villarta.

Villarta informed investigating panel members Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela, Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano, and Prosecution Attorney Mark Roland Estepa that he was sent by the Napoleses to merely move for an extension of time to file their counter-affidavits.

The Napoles couple was subpoenaed for Monday’s hearing to submit their counter-affidavits.

However, Villarta said they have yet to choose their lawyer or lawyers for the tax evasion cases, and have yet to put together their defense.

The panel ordered Villarta to submit a letter of authority from the Napoles couple allowing him to represent them in the hearing, and, inform the Napoleses that they have to personally appear before the DOJ panel on the next hearing on Nov. 5, 2013, to personally subscribe to their counter-affidavits.

In separate complaints, the Bureau of Internal Revenue earlier charged the Napoleses with violations of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

According to the BIR, Mrs. Napoles has a total tax liability of P44.68 million for taxable years 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Likewise, Mr. Napoles has a tax deficiency of P16.43 million covering 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. (PNA)