President Rodrigo Duterte opened Senator Manny Pacquiao’s former tax problem. But the president clarified that he has no plans to sue the senator over the matter.
Duterte claimed that Pacquiao’s alleged tax liability allegedly amounted to P2.2 billion at the PDP-Laban meeting held on Tuesday.
“I do not talk about the others… Ito lang si Pacquiao because out of the blue he blurted out na corrupt, so I am forced to… By the way, mayroon akong… I remember he has a tax evasion case,” said Duterte.
“He has been assessed to pay P2.2 billion ang utang niya na hindi niya nabayaran [buwis] ang gobyerno,” he added.
Duterte did not mention details about the taxes that Pacquiao allegedly did not pay.
But in 2018, Pacquiao got a favorable decision in the Court of Tax Appeals regarding the P2.2 billion tax assessment.
In that decision in July 2018, the First Division tax court barred the Bureau of Internal Revenue from collecting the multi-billion-peso tax deficiency against Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee for the years 2008 and 2009, pending civil case.
Duterte hits Pacquiao on alleged unpaid tax worth P2.2 billion
In July 2013, then-BIR head former Commission Kim Jacinto-Henares issued a freeze order against Pacquiaos’ income in connection with his tax liability worth P2.26 billion. It swelled to P3.3 billion due to penalties and surcharges.
“Respondent is hereby ordered to cease and desist from implementing the subject FDDA (Final Decision on Disputed Assessment) and from collecting the subject deficiency tax assessments issued against petitioners for taxable years 2008 and 2009 for lack of merit,” stated in the CTA resolution on July 27, 2018.
Duterte clarified that he mentioned Pacquiao’s tax issue because of the senator’s statement about government corruption.
“Not because gusto ko siya habulin but sabi kasi niya corrupt. E, kung corrupt kami, e ikaw, when you cheat government you are a corrupt official,” Duterte said.
Pacquiao previously explained that his statements about corruption in some agencies were to help Duterte fight corruption and not attack the government.