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Mayor Isko: Say Goodbye To P203-B Estate Tax If Marcos Jr. Becomes President; Aksyon Demokratiko Supports Senate Probe On Unpaid Marcos Estate Tax

AKSYON DEMOKRATIKO standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Sunday warned that a victory for Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the May 9 elections also means that the Filipino people should say goodbye to the P203 billion estate tax still owed by the Marcos family to the government.

“But we really have to be very careful. Sa ating mga kababayan, pagka yung same family ang mamuno sa ’tin, forget about it (P203-B unpaid Marcos estate tax). That is a straightforward answer. Forget about it kasi mawawala yon na parang bula,” Moreno told reporters shortly after the Commission on Elections-sponsored PiliPinas Debates 2022: The Turning Point 2.

“Uulitin ko, walang sinoman, maaaring i-lip service ng ilang tao. Sisingilin natin yan, sisingilin natin yan. Pano mo sisingilin yung amo mo? I mean, let’s be practical about it. So, mag-ingat kayo. Kung yan ang gusto ng Pilipino, eh igagalang natin yan. Demokrasya ito eh. But ako ang obligasyon ko sa inyo at sa mga magbabasa sa inyo, manonood sa inyo, ipapaalala ko kung anong mga consequences o ano’ng epekto nito sa mga buhay natin. E yun ang nakakalungkot na parte,” Moreno said.

On Tuesday, Team Isko Campaign Strategist Angelito Banayo said Aksyon Demokratiko is willing to cooperate with the planned Senate probe of the P203-billion estate tax liabilities of the Marcos family. Senator Aquilino Pimentel III filed a resolution seeking an inquiry on the Marcos estate tax which remains unpaid for the last 25 years.

“If you would remember it was the Aksyon Demokratiko through our chairman Ernest Ramel who wrote the BIR, who wrote the Supreme Court, who wrote PCGG, and we were given answers that state very, very clearly that one, the P23 billion estate tax computation is final and executory as far is the Supreme Court is concerned, and two, that the BIR clearly has not as of the moment been able to collect the P23 billion plus all of the penalties and charges now totaling P203 billion. Itutuloy namin yun,” Banayo told reporters in an interview at the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President Campaign Headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.

Banayo said it’s high time that the government does something about the unpaid estate tax of the Marcoses despite a 1997 Supreme Court decision on it. He said the refusal of the Marcos family to pay for it clearly shows their sense of entitlement and lack of respect for authorities.

“Malinaw na malinaw na dapat aksyunan eto sapagkat katunayan nyan nagkaroon pa nga ng tax amnesty na ibinigay ng Pangulong Duterte. If you remember nag-expire ito ng 2021 pagkatapos inextend pa nga ng isang panukalang batas na pinirmahan ni Senator Pia Cayetano as chairman ng Ways and Means, at pinirmahan ni Pangulong Duterte. Madali’t salita, kung nag avail sila ng tax amnesty nung panahon na yun, they would only have paid on the basis of the principal and not on the basis of ballooning interest charges and penalties no. But they did not,” Banayo explained.

Banayo continued: “Clearly kasi this is not an issue just of magkano yung estate tax, papano yung collection ng estate tax, this is an issue of entitlement. Ang paniwala nila sa sarili nila naghahari-hari sila dito sa ating bansa samantalang yung ordinaryong mamamayan, kailangan magbayad sa BIR, sisingilin, kukumpiskahin ang mga assets o kaya ifree-freeze ang bank deposits pero sila hindi naman yun ginawa ng ating pamahalaan sa nagdaang pagkahaba-habang panahon. Twenty-five years na, silver anniversary na.”

Moreno, in the same interview, said he is elated that many in government especially President Rodrigo Duterte himself has asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue why it has not yet collected the estate tax liabilities of a “certain family.”

“You know, I have to give it to the President, hindi ko pa siya nakakausap, it’s been more than a year now. I remember, noong flag ceremony sa Luneta (Independence Day June 12), that’s the closest interaction that I had with the President and that was aired live. Nakita ninyo naman, very casual, nagkwentuhan kami and kamayan. Kwento naman namin, yung casual na kwentuhan. It has nothing to do with that,” Moreno said.

“Hindi ko pa nakakausap si (Finance) Secretary (Carlos) Dominguez. Hindi ko rin nakakausap si (BIR) Commissioner (Caesar Dulay). Si dating Commissioner ng BIR nung panahon ni President (Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III)… si (Kim) Henares, di ko siya nakakausap. It’s just that, kasi kung ano desisyon ng Korte Suprema, kahit na itinanggi nung una, na yun daw ay fake news, itinanggi ng pamilya nila o itinanggi ng abogado nila, at two weeks after inamin nila na totoo pero naniniwala sila sa P23 billion at kino-contest pa nila yung P180 billion,” Moreno explained.

The Manila city mayor said the money owed by the Marcoses, in the event that they pay it, can be utilized in aiding millions of Filipinos who lost their jobs and livelihood due to the pandemic-related lockdowns.

“Ayoko silang pangunahan, pera naman nila yon. Minana naman nila yon eh. Yung P23 billion pwede na nating ipagpauna. Tutal inamin na naman na nila, o pwede na natin makuha. I mean, everybody needs all kinds of assistance. Tulad kanina yung sinabi ko, yung ayuda kasi pinag-uusapan yung food security. E hirap na hirap yung mga magsasaka, P900, P1,000 yung abono about more than a year ago, now it’s P2,600. Kung talagang gusto natin ng food security, we provide something. Eh saan naman natin kukunin yung pera?” Moreno said.

Moreno stated in previous interviews that if the BIR would be able to collect P203 billion in estate taxes from the Marcos family, the amount collected could feed rice to 59.7 million Filipinos daily for 12 months.

The presidential aspirant’s computation was based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) which said that the per capita rice consumption per year among Filipinos is 103.25 kilograms or a little more than two sacks of rice, with each sack containing 50 kilos.

Based on the PSA data, P203 billion can buy 119.4 million sacks of rice which can feed 59.7 million Filipino with each having two sacks of rice worth P3,400 at P34 per kilo. #