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Pimentel seeks probe on failure to collect Marcos estate tax

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Pimentel seeks probe on failure to collect Marcos estate tax
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III filed last March 28 Senate Resolution 998, where he stated that the BIR “has the power and duty pertaining to the assessment and collection of all national internal revenue taxes, fees, charges, and the enforcement of all forfeitures, penalties and fines connected therewith including the execution of judgments in all cases decided in its favor” by the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and ordinary courts.
Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III is seeking an inquiry into the failure of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to collect the P203 billion in taxes owed by the estate of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

Pimentel filed last March 28 Senate Resolution 998, where he stated that the BIR “has the power and duty pertaining to the assessment and collection of all national internal revenue taxes, fees, charges, and the enforcement of all forfeitures, penalties and fines connected therewith including the execution of judgments in all cases decided in its favor” by the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) and ordinary courts.

In the four-page resolution, he said that on June 5, 1997, the Supreme Court affirmed in the decision of the Court of Appeals that the deficiency income tax and estate tax assessments were already final and unappealable and thus the subsequent summary upon the estate and real properties of Marcos by the government is an available remedy.

“There is an urgent and pressing need for the Senate to look into the reasons and BIR officials past and present, who are responsible why the government, after almost 25 years, has failed to collect on these amounts, which have already been adjudged with finality to be due and demandable against the heirs of Ferdinand E. Marcos,” the resolution read.

Pimentel noted that BIR Commissioner Caesar Dulay has confirmed that the agency has sent a demand letter to the Marcos heirs.

“The Filipino people are presently suffering from the effects of recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ongoing effects of the Russian-Ukraine war, which have led to gargantuan fuel price increases almost overnight and in turn, to great increases in the prices of basic commodities, transportation and services,” he said.

Pimentel cited the statements of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III that the government may have enough budget for a P200 monthly financial assistance to be given to the poorest of the poor, but there will be no more funds if such ayuda (aid) will be increased to P500 as sought by many.

The senator also cited the proposal of the Department of Labor and Employment for a wage subsidy of P24 billion for the benefit of some one million minimum wage workers.

“There is no clear funding for these proposed subsidies, and it is immediately obvious that the government would be hard-pressed to source the much-needed funds in order to support these social alleviation measures,” Pimentel said.

“The payment of the estate tax liability amounting to more or less P203.819 billion on the part of the heirs of Ferdinand E. Marcos in favor of the government, as it has all to the right to do so, would be more than enough to fund these proposed subsidies,” he added.

There was no immediate comment from Sen. Imee Marcos and her younger brother, former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., who is running for president in the May 9 elections.

Pimentel chairs one of two warring factions of the PDP-Laban that is supporting the presidential bid of Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

The other faction, headed by President Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, has endorsed Marcos’ presidential bid.

Duterte, however, has so far not personally made any endorsement.

20 Bulacan mayors endorse BBM-Sara

Twenty mayors in the province of Bulacan have endorsed Marcos Jr. and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, the UniTeam camp said yesterday.

In a statement yesterday, the UniTeam said members of the Mayor’s League Bulacan Chapter signed a manifesto of support for the two candidates.

Those who signed the manifesto were Balagtas Mayor Eladio Gonzales, Baliuag Mayor Ferdinand Estrella, Bocaue Mayor Jose Santiago Jr., Bulakan Mayor Vergel Meneses, Bustos Mayor Francis Juan, Guiginto Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr., Marilao Mayor Ricardo Silvestre, Paombong Mayor Mary Ann Marcos and San Miguel Mayor Roderick Tiongson.

San Rafael Mayor Cipriano Violago Jr., Angat Mayor Leonardo de Leon, Calumpit Mayor Jessie de Jesus, Hagonoy Mayor Raulito Manlapaz, Obando Mayor Edwin Santos, Plaridel Mayor Anastacia Vistan, Sta. Maria Mayor Russel Pleyto, Meycauayan Mayor Linabelle Villarica and San Jose del Monte Mayor Arthur Robes also signed the manifesto.

Representatives of Pandi Mayor Chis Castro and Malolos City Mayor Christian Natividad signed the manifesto on their behalf.

The local chief executives said they have “faith” that BBM-Sara tandem “would deliver the much-needed support to our localities,” according to the manifesto. – Ralph Edwin Villanueva

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