EXONERATED. Singer Claire dela Fuente died on Tuesday of cardiac arrest at the age of 62. It also meant the end of her tax liability cases but not of her bus company that is accused of evading tax payments from 1998 to 2004. (Photo courtesy of Facebook)

MANILA – The death of singer Claire dela Fuente on Tuesday also ended her liability on a tax evasion case.

However, her bus company, Philippine Corinthian Liner Corp. (PCLC), may still face charges.

Department of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said all pending cases against Dela Fuente (Clarita de Guzman in real life), who was 62, have been extinguished.

The singer died at about 7 a.m., confirmed her son, Gigo de Guzman in an Instagram video, due to cardiac arrest. He said her mother had suffered from anxiety after testing positive for the coronavirus disease 2019.

De Guzman himself is infected and isolated.

"Death extinguishes all criminal liability. If it’s on appeal, or a pending motion for reconsideration, its mooted," Guevarra said. “But any tax liabilities of the company will remain.”

Last year, the Court of Tax Appeals found Dela Fuente guilty of tax evasion in her capacity as a corporate officer of her bus company and sentenced her to seven years in prison.

In a 205-page decision by Associate Justice Ma. Belen Ringpis-Liban dated June 30, 2020, the court found the singer "guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating the tax code" in seven criminal tax cases for her liability as corporate officer-in-charge of PCLC.

The PCLC was likewise ordered to pay PHP100,000 for each of the consolidated criminal cases which arose from its failure to make and file income tax returns totaling more than PHP166 million from 1998 to 2004.

It was a rough three months for the 1980s icon after her son was implicated in the death of Philippine Airlines flight attendant Christine Dacera during a New Year's Eve party with friends in a Makati City hotel. (PNA)