ROXAS, Oriental Mindoro – Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Thursday said 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.
The developments Moreno was referring to include President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement on why the Bureau of Internal Revenue has not collected the estate tax from a certain family; the statement of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez confirming the BIR is collecting and demanded payment from the Marcos family; the Supreme Court’s certification of the June 5, 1997 entry of judgment and the subsequent admission by the camp of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on the finality of their estate tax liability.
Interviewed by reporters here, Moreno expressed puzzlement on why the Marcos family refused to pay their estate taxes when the amount was still the original P23 billion considering the huge amount of money that the Marcoses have.
“Ang dami mong pera. Biruin mo buwis mo pa lang P23 billion na paano pa kaya yung natira? Diba? I mean be honest to yourself. But anyway, that’s your problem not mine. Someday e magbabayad talaga kayo. Sana nga kung talagang mabuti kayong tao at kayo ay para sa tao, ngayon na kayo magbayad,” Moreno told reporters.
Former BIR Commissioner Kim Henares had said that during her term, a tax amnesty was declared by the Aquino administration and she expressed surprise why the Marcoses did not avail of it since they will only pay 50 percent of the P23 billion which is equivalent to P11.5 billion.
Team Isko’s campaign strategist Lito Banayo pointed out that had the Marcoses paid the P11.5 billion during the time that Marcos Jr. was already senator, there would have been no issues against them today.
“That the original P23 billion estate tax ballooned over time to P203 billion due to penalties and government surcharges, the Marcos family has no one to blame but themselves partly because of their sense of entitlement and partly due to their arrogance of power. Talagang walang intensiyon kailanman na ibalik ang yaman nila sa bayan,” Banayo said.
On Wednesday, Partido Federal ng Pilipinas general counsel George Briones Wednesday revealed that the Supreme Court in 1997 has already ruled with finality the P23 billion in estate tax which the Marcos family still owes the government, with the P180 billion in penalties still subject to reconciliation.
“Pero 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.
The 47-year-old presidential candidate said whether the Marcoses owe the government P23 billion or P203 billion for that matter, what is important is they settle their estate tax immediately so that the money can be used as ayuda or cash assistance to millions of Filipinos affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“O, sige, sige, pagbigyan natin si attorney, o bayaran mo na yung P23 billion. O attorney, final na pala e, asan na? Kaya gamitin namin pambayad sa… pang ayuda natin sa mga farmers, bili tayo ng fertilizer P2,600 per bag, iayuda natin sa mga driver ng jeep, bus, taxi, Grab, tricycle, kasi hirap na hirap sila at lumiit ang kita nila. And I’m happy ha, at least hindi ako fake news. Sinabi nya na, inamin nya na, umamin din awa ng Diyos. Talagang may Diyos ano? At least hindi tayo nagsisinungaling at sila na rin ang umamin,” Moreno told reporters in an ambush interview.
Moreno added: “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.”
Moreno and the rest of Team “Isko” are currently barnstorming Mindoro island through a series of motorcades and town hall meetings to woo voters.
From Oriental Mindoro, Moreno, his running mate Dr. Willie Ong, Aksyon Demokratiko senatorial bets Samira Gutoc, Carl Balita, and Jopet Sison, and guest candidate John Castriciones of PDP-Laban, will visit Occidental Mindoro on Friday.
The Manila city mayor in recent weeks has called on the Marcos family to pay the P203 billion estate tax which remained unpaid despite a 1997 Supreme Court decision.
Moreno previously stated in an interview 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.
Moreno’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.
Team Isko’s political strategist Lito Banayo also appealed to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to order the BIR, which is under his department, to immediately collect the P203-B Marcos debt and use it as cash assistance to workers who lost their jobs as well as jeepney drivers who have been bearing the brunt of the unabated increase in fuel prices. #