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Mayor Isko Maintains No Politics Behind P203-B Marcos Estate Tax; Says With The April Deadline For Tax Payers, Marcoses Should Also Pay

Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Friday said there is no politicking nor dirty tactics involved with his crusade to go after the billions of estate tax owed by the Marcoses to the Philippine government, pointing out that the issue has been festering for decades because of their failure to pay their obligation.

“It has nothing to do with politics. It’s about our obligation. Obligasyon ng bawat mamamayan yon, lalo na pag ikaw ay tatakbo sa public office. Just the same, I did not come out with that, it was there for 30 years, ayaw lang nilang sundin ang batas,” Moreno said in a media interview in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

And with the ordinary Filipino people now fulfilling filing obligations to the state by filing their income tax returns, Moreno said the Marcoses should come out of hiding behind the cloak of power and do the same by fulfilling their estate tax obligations.

“What matters most, ang taongbayan, April 1 ngayon, magsisimula ng mag bayad ng buwis uli. Sana all. Sana all nagbabayad. Dahil nga siguro sikat sila, pinagpala silang pamilya, siguro makapangyarihan silang pamilya. Kaya sa inyo, yung batas applicable, sa kanila hindi applicable,” he said.

“Ngayon, uulitin ko, Abril ngayon, bayaran ng buwis. Sana all,” said Moreno.

The 47-year-old presidential candidate’s statements were made after Senator Imee Marcos questioned the timing of Mayor Isko’s vow to tun after their tax liabilities considering that his brother Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is his rival for the presidency.

It was on March 1 that the Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet first brought out the issue of the Marcos debts during a meeting with organized labor and transport workers’ groups at the headquarters of the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President in Intramuros, Manila.

Moreno vowed to run after the P203 billion estate tax debts incurred by the Marcos family and utilize it in aiding the millions of Filipinos gravely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In an entry of judgement issued by the Supreme Court on March 9. 1999, the High Court ruled that its June 5, 1997 decision on the P23 billion in estate tax which the Marcos family owe to the government has become final and executory.

Since then, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) have been trying to collect the P23 billion, which has now ballooned to P203 billion due to interests and penalties 20 years later because of legal delaying tactics employed by the Marcoses.

Even President Duterte himself has asked the BIR why it has not yet collected the estate tax liabilities of a “certain family.”

In the same interview in Occidental Mindoro, Moreno reminded the Marcoses that Partido Federal ng Pilipinas general counsel George Briones has also admitted on the finality of the 1997 SC ruling, but argued that the P180 billion in penalties is still subject to reconciliation. Marcos Jr. is running under the PFP.

“They can always think what they want to think. But as far as yesterday is concerned, yung abogado nila mismo ay sinabi na totoo na kailangan nilang magbayad ng P23 billion, minimum. At sinabi naman ng Korte Suprema ay P203 bilion,” Moreno said.

Earlier in the day, Aksyon Demokratiko Chairman Ernest Ramel on Friday strongly urged Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and the rest of the Marcoses to avail of the current estate tax amnesty program of the government and immediately pay the P23 billion estate tax they owe so that it can be utilized to help the millions of Filipinos affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the unabated fuel price increase.

“Pagkakataon niyo na ito mga sirs mga ma’am, mga Marcoses, Marcos Jr. Meron na po kayong amnesty, bayad na po. Sige na po. Mas mapapakinabangan ito ng mas maraming Pilipino sa panahon ngayon,” Ramel said in press conference at the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.

Ramel was referring to RA 11569 that was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on June 30, 2021 extending the availment period of the estate tax amnesty for two years.

Republic Act 11569 amended RA 11213, or the Estate Amnesty Act signed by Duterte on February 14, 2019, which grants estate administrator, lawful heirs, or beneficiaries the opportunity to settle their tax obligations through an estate amnesty program until June 15, 2019. Under RA 11569, the new deadline for the filing of estate tax amnesty returns was set on June 14, 2023.

Ramel also chided the Marcoses for trying to divert the issue of their tax liabilities, with Senator Imee Marcos reportedly calling Aksyon Demokratiko’s campaign for the immediate payment of the P203-B estate tax as “bulok na taktika.”

“Senator Imee Marcos, mas marami po kayong bulok na taktika na dineploy the past few years. Yun ang pinakabulok sa lahat, yung pagsi-sinungaling po ninyo, yung ayaw niyong pag-ako sa mga responsibilidad ninyo, yung karuwagang harapin ito sa publiko. Lagi po kayong attack -pulitika lang po yan, fake news lang po yan, bulok po yan,” he said.

“Ang bulok yung nagtatago po kayo sa katotohanan. Ang bulok yung mga kalokohan na pinapakalat niyo sa social media. Yun po ang kabulukan, Senator Imee Marcos,” Ramel said.#