Pacquiao, Jinkee take P2-B tax case to SC
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - October 23, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - World boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee have again sought relief from the Supreme Court (SC) in their P2.2-billion tax evasion case.

In a 76-page memorandum, the couple asked the high court to stop the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) from implementing the warrant of levy and garnishment order on their assets to cover their alleged tax liabilities for 2008 and 2009.

Petitioners accused the BIR of resorting to a fishing expedition and of violating their right to due process, saying the tax agency proceeded with the tax collection process even without serving a Final Decision on Disputed Assessment (FDDA) against them.

“Respondent (BIR) Commissioner (Kim Henares)’s failure to validly and completely assess petitioners – Pacquiao couple (given the absence of an FDDA) a mandatory pre-requisite for collection clearly deprives her of authority to collect against petitioners and make all actions taken pursuant to the collection efforts of respondent commissioner and her representatives null and void and no effect whatsoever,” read the pleading filed through lawyer Jayson Fernandez.

The Pacquiao couple stressed the BIR has yet to present proof that they committed fraud in the payment of taxes.

“Petitioners have been made hapless subjects of a ruthless name and shame campaign designed to strike fear in the hearts of our citizenry in the hope that they will voluntarily pay more taxes than what is rightfully due, or risk the vengeful ire of the tax collector,” they stressed.

The couple also again asked the high court to reverse a Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) order last year requiring the boxer to deposit P3.2-billion cash bond or P4.9-billion surety bond as a condition to suspend tax collection against them.

The implementation of the assailed CTA order was stopped by the SC in a temporary restraining order issued in August last year.

In 2013, Pacquiao filed a petition with the CTA to lift the warrant of levy and garnishment as well as the collection of taxes by the BIR.

But the tax court ordered Pacquiao and his wife to deposit a cash or surety bond for the court to resolve the petition.

The couple questioned the move of BIR to collect from them the total deficiency of P3,298,514.894.35 as well as the CTA order in July last year requiring them to post a cash bond in the same amount or a surety bond worth P4,947,772,341.53.    

Allies defend Pacquiao

Meanwhile, allies of Pacquiao defended him from attempts to disqualify him from running for the Senate in the 2016 elections, saying he was more qualified than other senatorial candidates.

Puwersa ang Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list nominees Mark Sambar and Koko Nograles issued the statement after a certain Ferdinand Sevilla filed a petition before the Commission on Elections seeking to disqualify Pacquiao for alleged absenteeism in the House of Representatives.

Sambar, who was a member of the 15th Congress, said unlike the Senate, the House has a local and national constituency and in the case of Pacquiao, “there is no doubt that he served his district excellently despite his absences during session days.”

“I can tell you right now that Congressman Pacquiao has more projects than most politicians, and many of his projects came from his personal funds and not from taxpayers’ money. Also don’t forget the pride and glory he brought to our nation as a boxing legend,” Sambar said.

Pacman goes unnoticed

Pacquiao last night managed to walk toward the Quirino Grandstand in Manila unnoticed by the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) crowd.

The boxing icon, a born again Christian, was one of the speakers during the JIL’s 37th anniversary.

Pacquiao, who is running for senator, said he did not want to turn the celebration into a political event. “I don’t want to use politics in preaching the word of God. I just want to share my experiences about God, about Jesus.”

He showed up to support JIL founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva, who he considers one of his mentors when he became a born again Christian.

Pacquiao said his vehicle was stuck in traffic and he might not have made it on time had he not walked to the venue. He arrived at 7:30 p.m.

He avoided being mobbed because people did not recognize him. Pacquiao was wearing a blue green polo shirt and blue jeans.

The evening darkness covered his identity and he was able to blend with the crowd, he said. – With Paolo Romero, Evelyn Macairan

ACIRC BAYANING ATLETA BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE CONGRESSMAN PACQUIAO COURT OF TAX APPEALS DISPUTED ASSESSMENT EDDIE VILLANUEVA EVELYN MACAIRAN FERDINAND SEVILLA PACQUIAO TAX
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