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GLEE EPISODE 17: BAD REPUTATION

In the rehearsal room, everyone is laughing while watching a video that Kurt stole from Sue’s office. It’s her emulating Olivia Newton John by performing the dance from the “Let’s Get Physical” music video. Finn wants to post it on YouTube, but Rachel doesn’t want to incur Sue’s wrath. With a little encouragement from Jessie for them to be “bad,” the glee club decides to post it on YouTube. They think it will go viral by lunch.

As Sue walks the halls, she’s bombarded with student jokes about her video. She appeals to Principal Figgins, confident that it was someone from the glee club that stole her video. She’s ready to file a lawsuit. Will is unconvinced because his glee kids are so good. Sue presents them with a copy of the “Glist,” a ranking of the members of glee based on a hotness quotient of sexual promiscuity. It was created by from a school computer using the password “glee.” Figgins is adamant that whoever posted it will be suspended. If Will doesn’t figure out who the culprit is, the entire glee club will be held responsible.

When Will talks to the team, they begin accusing each other. Everyone is sure that Puck wrote the Glist, even though he denies it. Artie thinks having a bad reputation could be a good thing, but Will assigns them to rehabilitate a song that has a bad reputation.

Sue walks into the teacher’s lounge, sensing that everyone is making fun of her. Even new teacher Brenda Castle thinks Sue is an embarrassment, which further enrages Sue.

Rachel approaches Artie for help from the AV club. She’s ashamed that she was at the bottom of the Glist, and she thinks having a good reputation is no good at all. Rachel wants to use the glee club assignment to change her image to the worst in the school.

Kurt calls a meeting with Mercedes, Artie and Tina to address the fact that they weren’t even mentioned on the Glist. Brittany wants in since she only ranked fourth. Kurt proposes they cause a scandal by being disruptive in the library.

Sue seeks comfort in a visit with her sister, Jean. When Jean was made fun of, Sue would volunteer at the animal shelter to feel better. It reminded them that there was always someone who had it worse than they did.

Emboldened with her new plan, Sue tells Emma that she will become her new therapist. Sue explains how the circulating video has inspired her to give back. She informs Emma that Will has been making out with Shelby, the Vocal Adrenaline coach, and that April Rhodes has been sleeping over. Emma’s shocked. Sue encourages her to defend herself and confront Will.

Rachel convinces Puck to help her with her assignment, explaining that it might help salvage his reputation. She has chosen David Geddes’ “Run, Joey Run.” Puck says that he tries to be good and didn’t create the Glist. Rachel empathizes. They have a moment, and though he threatens to leave when she declines, she convinces him that working on the song together will help both of their reputations.

Sue escorts Emma to the teacher’s lounge so that she can confront Will. Emma hesitantly addresses Will in front of everyone, calling him a slut in front of the entire staff because she knows about Shelby and April. She says she’s through with him.

Kurt, Mercedes, Artie, Tina and Brittany enter the library in parachute pants to perform an MC Hammer tune. Instead of getting in trouble, the librarian asks them to perform the number at her church.

Will grills the glee club members about the Glist, but each of them has a reason why they couldn’t or didn’t post it.

Since they couldn’t change their reputations, Kurt wants to admit to Sue that he posted her video online. Although they might all get suspended, they think it’ll be worth it if the rest of the school thinks they’re bad-asses.

Sue gets a call from Olivia Newton John, who has seen her “Physical” video. Olivia has become inspired to recreate her original music video.

Everyone has heard about Will’s indiscretions. Meanwhile, Kurt admits to Sue that he was responsible for her video being leaked. Surprisingly, Sue thanks him. Curious about her response, they search online and are surprised to find that Sue appears alongside Olivia Newton John in a new video.

Jessie and Finn seem surprised to see Puck as “Joey” when Rachel presents her video. All three guys appear as Joey, and they confront Rachel about triple-casting them without their knowledge. Finn accuses her of making the video so she could look like she had guys fighting over her. He asks her if her reputation is more important than her relationships. All three boys walk out.

Sue visits Jean and tells her how she has returned to the teacher’s lounge as a top 700 recording artist. Sue plans to give all of her proceeds from the video to the nursing home where Jean lives. They read a book together.

Will brings flowers to Emma in apology. He doesn’t want to be the person he’s become. She can’t accept his apology or look at him the way she used to, but this is good for her. If things are going to move forward, then they need to see each other for who they really are. Will leaves, dejected.

Will sees Quinn and realizes she was the one who posted the Glist. She denies it. He knew it was her after he experienced losing his own good reputation. She’s lost so much that she had the most to gain. Quinn confesses and said she never meant to hurt anyone. Principal Figgins interrupts to find out if Will has found the culprit. Will says that no one has confessed, but proposes that, since the Glists have stopped, they should let it go. Figgins agrees.

Jessie approaches Rachel and tells her that he asked around about her before he transferred to McKinley to be her boyfriend. Most people didn’t know who she was. The ones who did thought that the things they didn’t like about her personality outweighed her hotness. Even though most didn’t like her, they all said that she could be trusted. Rachel pleads with him to understand her desire to be popular. Although he does understand in terms of celebrity, yet as her boyfriend, Jessie should have been enough for her. Rachel says that she knew he’d end up breaking her heart. Jessie explains that she broke his heart first.

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THE PUBLIC DESERVES TO KNOW – SHELL TAX ISSUE

THE PUBLIC DESERVES TO KNOW

What the Shell Tax issue is all about

Recently, the public has heard of the issue regarding alleged non-payment by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation (PSPC) of excise taxes for imports of Catalytic Cracked Gasoline (CCG) and light catalytic cracked gasoline (LCCG), amounting to Php 7.35 billion for the years 2004-09. To correct the misleading, inaccurate and wrong statements that have been made regarding this case, PSPC would like to provide the public the facts of the case:

1. “Other Petroleum Firms are paying their excise tax, but not Shell” – This is not true. Shell, like all other petroleum firms, pays excise taxes on all its finished products to the government. From 2004-2009, Shell has paid over P37 billion in excise taxes for its finished products. On the other hand, finished product importers like Chevron, Total, and other independent players pay excise taxes to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) upon importation, but do not pay Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) excise tax on the same finished products before they are sold to the public. The difference then is when and to whom the tax payment is made to, and not the amount. Shell does not pay excise tax to the BOC on CCG/LCCG because like crude oil, these are intermediate or raw materials. However, Shell pays to the BIR excise taxes on all finished products that are produced from the raw materials, before the finished products are sold. There is, therefore no revenue losses to the government. Finished product importers pay excise tax to BOC, while refiners pay excise tax to BIR.

2. “The position of BOC is that LCCG and CCG is a finished product and that’s why (Shell) should resolve and not muddle the issue” – As tested and certified by the Department of Energy (DOE), the agency with the technical expertise to determine whether a product is a raw material or a finished product, as early as 2003, LCCG/CCG is an intermediate or raw gasoline component that is blended to produce PSPC’s gasolines to comply with the Clean Air Act (CAA). The Product National Standards (PNS) specifications will also show that LCCG/CCG do not meet the product specifications requirements, and therefore, cannot be sold as finished products. Even the BOC’s Verification Committee admitted that Shell has not sold LCCG/CCG to the public but instead uses it as blending component.

3. “There is fraud on the part of Shell since when they imported the product, they listed them at BOC as gasoline, but when Shell goes to BIR it is declaring the imports as raw material” – This is not true. There is no fraud as we have always stated that CCG/LCCG is a kind of gasoline, but which cannot be used in its current specification and has to be blended with other components to meet the Clean Air Act and PNS standards for gasoline. It is therefore an intermediate or raw material.

4. “Shell is blackmailing the government by threatening to stop importing, shut down their refinery and claiming there will be shortages if BOC seize their importations” – Shell is not blackmailing the government. We are simply stating the fact that if BOC seizes our importations, we will have no raw materials to run the refinery and no products to sell. As Shell supplies 30% of the market, it will not be easy for the other oil companies to step into the void. We do not want this to happen but for purposes of transparency, we have to let the public and government know the consequences of the BOC’s arbitrary action. In fact, even before the 60-day TRO issued by the CTA expired, Batangas Customs Collector Juan Tan attempted to unlawfully use Section 1508 of the Tariff Code to seize PSPC’s goods, despite the fact that the shipments of crude oil, CCG and gas oil were already in the possession of PSPC and all taxes have been paid to Customs. Section 1508 does not authorize Customs to seize property or assets of PSPC, but only incoming importations, yet BOC Collector Tan attempted to unlawfully confiscate PSPC’s property forcing PSPC to obtain judicial relief from the Regional Trial Court of Batangas.

5. “Shell is getting special treatment by getting tax exemption as a result of the BIR ruling in 2003” – This is not true. As discussed in item 1 above, Shell has been paying all the excise taxes on its finished products. In fact, as a result of BIR Commissioner Joel Tan-Torres’ reversal, Shell is now the only oil company paying excise taxes twice starting January 2010! The House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, the lead congressional committee for tax legislation, has issued an official report last January 27, 2010, that found that the Tan-Torres reversal is an imposition of an impermissible act of double taxation on Shell’s imports of Catalytic Cracked Gasoline (CCG) and Light Catalytic Cracked Gasoline (LCCG) since it “in effect levies an excise tax twice on CCG and LCCG, first as raw materials upon withdrawal from the port of entry and second as components of a finished product upon withdrawal from PSPC’s refinery.” The Committee held that the imposition of the said double taxation is “a naked, arbitrary, and whimsical abuse of administrative power by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue and a usurpation of the power to tax solely vested in Congress by the Constitution.”

We express grave concern on the actions by the BOC and the BIR for the following reasons:

1. The Tan-Torres reversal results in double taxation (the imposition of excise tax on the both the imported raw materials used and in the finished products), which not only puts PSPC in an uneven playing field compared to other oil players, but more importantly:

§ A. reflects instability in government policies (with dangerous precedent set due to retroactive application); and

§ B. results in a policy implication of discouraging manufacturing investments in the country, destroying the higher value added that the industry contributes.

2. The issue similarly reflects abuse of seizure power against importers on contested tax assessments. Furthermore, BOC insists that even if the case is still being heard in court, that Shell provides CASH payment in protest and does not want to accept bonds as security!

Shell’s Business Principles have for many years been fundamental to how we conduct our business and we have always believed that living by them is crucial to our continued success. We believe that our reputation, which we have built and protected for so many decades, will be upheld if we act in accordance with the law and these business principles.

As above, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation maintains that we have paid all taxes on CCG, and that there are no factual and legal bases for saying otherwise. Shell has consistently been in the Top 10 Taxpayers list of the government and over the last 5 years, our annual tax payments has averaged about P 26 billion per year.

Shell will continue to exhaust all available legal remedies for the immediate resolution of this important issue. This issue is important for us, and as part of our business principles, it is also our duty to provide the public with accurate and truthful information, in the spirit of fairness and transparency.

The public deserves to know.

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