Here’s an update on Manny Pacquiao’s noisy transcontinental tax woes.
Before last weekend, Pacquiao kept crying political harassment—the louder, the better—against the turbulent case of unpaid taxes hanging over his heroic head.
True enough, he gained ground, mainly after the case was unwittingly brought before gullible, sympathetic hometown admirers.
Pacquiao promoter Bob Arum, in fact, went as far as to slam the Philippine government, branding the case against the boxing superhero “the worst brand of politics.”
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Short of landing a knockout punch, Pacquiao scored big win-win points after Arum sent copies of alleged certified true copies of Pacquiao’s tax remittances with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to Manila.
A tax appeal hearing was next scheduled in a local court on Jan. 16.
However, Pacquiao would not have a respite.
News next broke out from California that the IRS had slapped an $18.3-million federal tax lien on him. (An official reproduction of the lien was provided the Inquirer by an informant from Los Angeles, California.)
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Despite the stunning blow, Pacquiao refused to budge.
He again cried foul, with his adviser Michael Koncz, a certified Arum errand boy, predictably coming to his side.
Koncz adamantly claimed they have abided faithfully with the IRS requirements regarding Pacquiao’s tax remittances. He claimed he had all the documents to back his stand.
Koncz also called the evidence against Pacquiao a heap of horse dung (he actually used an unprintable expletive.)
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Things were going nowhere, until VisionQuest, the certified accounting firm originally handling Pacquiao’s tax payments, started to come out in the open to detail where Pacquiao and his tax people had erred and sinned.
These things took place before last weekend.
Then Koncz suddenly went missing, thereby fanning suspicions he must’ve flown the coop.
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Yesterday morning, veteran scribe Nick Giongco said Pacquiao had dispatched Koncz to California “to fix his tax problems.”
Obviously, the core of Pacquiao’s tax woes lay in the dubious handwritten notations and documents which Koncz had desperately tried to pass off as legit, official receipts.
These, by the way, had all been rejected by the IRS.
If at all, Koncz, an anomaly, could have functioned perfectly in the staff of the untouchable bald jueteng king, a favorite of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in Pampanga.
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Anyway, the latest move is either a sign of surrender, or a bid to patch up his tarnished image on the part of Pacquiao, a national treasure.
But shouldn’t the Philippine government, harshly slammed by Arum, also help determine the role of the grizzled promoter in Pacquiao’s current miseries?
We owe it to the people to know if Pacquiao had been cheated, or if he willingly allowed himself to be fooled?
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(BIRTHDAY RACE: Two-time Tour of Luzon champion Jesus Garcia Jr. celebrated his birthday yesterday with a bike race in Calasiao, Pangasinan’s puto capital— “for health and fun”—for riders 40 and above. Among the riders was Garcia’s eldest son, Jazy, a two-time Guam Olympian.)