Pacquiao reacts to P2.2B tax case: My conscience is clear
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines—World boxing icon and Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao has expressed confidence that the truth will come out regarding the alleged P2.2-billion tax case filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) against him.
Pacquiao seemed not bothered by the news, saying “My lawyers will eventually settle that issue with the BIR.”
The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) ordered a freeze on Pacquiao’s bank deposits over a P2.2-billion tax case.
According to reports, the tax court’s First Division issued the freeze order about a couple of weeks back but it was made public just a day after his masterful conquest of Brandon “Bambam” Rios in Macau, China.
“Actually, that order came out before the last (May) election. I just don’t know why it is being revived now,” Pacquiao said in a phone interview.
Pacquiao’s lawyers assailed before the CTA the warrant of garnishment issued by the BIR, attaching his personal assets and his bank deposits.
The eight-division boxing champ, however, remains unfazed claiming his conscience is clear and that all his tax liabilities with the government were properly paid.
He explained that the P2.2-billion tax case stemmed from his alleged failure to include in his income tax returns the multi-million-dollar taxes deducted by the US Internal Revenue Service from his 2008 and 2009 fight earnings.
“The IRS gave us a copy of the taxes deducted from my earnings covering that period. Unfortunately, BIR refused to honor the copy of tax deduction credited by the IRS,” Pacquiao bared.
The boxer-lawmaker claimed BIR has been demanding a certified true copy of the IRS document.
“Iba ang sistema natin kumpara US. Hindi sila nagbibigay ng certified true copy kasi pag nagbigay ng public document ang alin mang government agency dun sa kanila, it is understood na authentic yon (The US has a different system. They don’t give a certified true copy because every time a public document is issued by any government agency in the US, it is understood that it is authentic),” Pacquiao said.
The total tax amount being demanded by the BIR is much bigger than the P1.8 billion total assets and net worth declared by Pacquiao in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
In an earlier interview, Franklin Gacal Jr., Pacquiao’s legal counsel, said the congressman was not engaged in “hocus-pocus” on his earnings as boxer.
“He could not hide his total earnings. The BIR could easily monitor it because all his commercial endorsements and boxing fights were covered with contracts,” Gacal said.
As of Tuesday, Gacal was still confined at the Cardinal Santos Hospital after suffering from a mild stroke about a week before the scheduled Pacquiao-Rios bout.