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 diverting 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.
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.”
Last Wednesday, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas general counsel George Briones 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.
With RA 11569 in place, Ramel said the Marcoses can now pay the P23 billion without thinking about the accrued interests.
“So, easily, pwede na nilang bayaran, waived na yung P180 billion na computed surcharges, penalties and interests,” Ramel pointed out.
Ramel said the admission of Marcos Jr.’s own party also vindicated the Aksyon Demokratiko party and its standard bearer, Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, who the Marcoses called as peddlers of fake news.
“Sa wakas umamin din. Tinatanggap nila na meron talagang pagkakautang na P23 billion na estate tax ang pamilya Macos, si Marcos Jr. Ito ay nagbi-vindicate sa inumpisahan ni Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso at walang puknat na tinutukan ng Aksyon Demokratiko. Nagbunga na ang ating pangangalampag, pangungulit,” Ramel said.
“Now all of this are now out, proving na wala pong peke sa sinasabi namin. Hindi po ito pamumulitika. Dahil ito po ay pagtawag lang sa isang tumatakbong pangulo na tumupad sa kaniyang tungkulin sa bayan at sa mga inuutos ng pamahalaan,” Ramel said.
Ramel’s statements echoed Moreno who said Thursday that he and the rest of Aksyon Demokratiko party felt vindicated with the series of positive developments this week pertaining to the P203 billion estate tax which remains unpaid by the Marcos family.
“Ang good news lang ngayon at least umamin na sila. Now, salamat naman napatotohanan yung sinabi ko, o iniba lang yung numero pero ganun pa rin yun. Ibig sabihin final na pala and executory. So, salamat naman,” Moreno said in an interview in Roxas, Oriental Mindoro.
“Whether P23 billion or P203 billion based on final assessment what matter most is may P23 billion kang dapat bayaran at inamin mo na na dapat bayaran. Tanong, o bayaran mo na ngayon. Kailangan ng bansa ng pera,” said Moreno.
It was on March 1 that the 47-year-old presidential candidate 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 subsequent days, Ramel has written to BIR Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay asking him if his office has sent a new written demand to the Marcos heirs regarding the P203-Billion which they owe the Philippine government.
He also wrote to PCGG Chairman John Agbayani to inquire whether there is truth to the claim of the camp of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the issue on the P203 billion tax liabilities of the Marcos heirs is under discussion by the PCGG and BIR. #