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Mayor Isko tells Marcoses: Ignorance Of The Law Exempts No One

PAGADIAN CITY, Zamboanga del Sur – Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso said on Wednesday that the Marcoses are obliged to pay their estate tax debt because even as he pointed out that no one is above the law and ignorance of the law does not exempt anyone from complying with the laws of the land.

“Ang punto ko, hindi na ito kailangang singilin, obligasyon ito. Yun bang buwis na yon para lang sa kanila? Hindi. Para sa lahat. So, kung sa iyo applicable, sa tatay at nanay mo applicable, sa pamilya mo applicable, applicable din sa kanila. Ano pa ang ipapaliwanag ng abogado doon,” Moreno told reporters after making a courtesy call to Governor Victor Yu.

“Hindi po ito charity, hindi tayo namamalimos. Obligasyon ito!” Moreno stressed before embarking on a series of motorcades and town hall meetings in this Mindanao province.

Moreno maintained that the Marcoses, especially Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Senator Imee Marcos, cannot feign ignorance of any demand letter from the Bureau of Internal Revenue sent to them, nor can they contest the legality of the laws through technicalities that has already dragged the case for more than 20 years.

“Alam mo ba na meron kang obligasyon? Yes. Alam niyo naman, sinasabi sa batas, ‘ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith.’ More so, ito’y mga pamilya ng mga pulitiko, mga pulitikong nagpapatupad din ng batas at gumagawa din ng batas,” he said.

Marcos Jr. and Imee have both served as Ilocos Norte governor, congressman, and senator. They also have supposedly graduated from prestigious schools of higher learning.

“Lalo na sila, sila ay nag-aral kung saan-saan na matatayog na bansa at sila ay naging mambabatas din, o naging governor at matagal sila na namuno. So, alam nila yung batas” Moreno noted.

Moreover, the 47-year-old Aksyon Demokratiko presidential bet said one does not need high-priced lawyers to understand estate taxes.

“Pasimplehin na lang natin ang usapan. kasi pag usapang legal, puro abo-abogado pa yan e. May namatay ba? Meron. May iniwan bang mana, kayamanan? Meron. Meron bang batas na nagpapataw ng buwis sa mana? Meron. O, tapos na ang usapan,” Moreno explained.

“Kaya wala ng pagtatalo-talo diyan kung sinong pinakamagaling na abogado. May namatay, may minana, at merong buwis. Wala na akong ipaliliwanag doon, kasi maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw,” said Moreno.

The Manila city mayor said that while he may be no lawyer, the acts of the Marcoses with regards to their tax obligations amounts to a clear and blatant disregard of the law, which does not bode well to the interest of the country should Marcos Jr. win in the May 9 elections.

“Yung nonfeasance, malfeasance, misfeasance, and so on and so forth. Pero maliwanag sa batas, ikaw ay may obligasyon, hindi mo ginawa yung obligasyon, meron kang pananagutan sa batas. Ang nakakatakot kasi, paano kung mahalal na presidente,” Moreno said.

Moreno said the best action now for Marcos Jr. to take is to avail of the tax amnesty law signed by President Rodrigo Duterte and pay the P23 billion levied on the Marcos estate so that the amount could be used to help the millions of Filipinos affected by the pandemic and the ongoing armed conflict in Ukraine that has driven up the price of fuel and basic commodities.

“Huwag na nating pagtalunan, o magkano ang penalty. Tutal inamin na naman nila, P23 billion. Puwede na munang bayaran yung P23 billion, makabili tayo ng fertilizer sa magsasaka, ayuda sa 4.2 million na nawalang ng trabaho or if we could create jobs for them, o ayuda sa mga driver at operator ng taxi, jeep, tricycle o bus. Hirap ang buhay ng tao,” he said.

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 BIR and the Presidential Commission on Good Government 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. #