Pacquiao admits relief mission to Leyte delayed by tax case
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines – Boxing champ and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquaio admitted in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon that his mission to distribute relief goods to “supertyphoon Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) victims has been delayed following the Court of Tax Appeal’s order freezing his bank accounts.
Pacquiao, who had vowed to find ways to push through with the mission despite his tax case in a phone interview earlier with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said he had to borrow money from friends to be able to fulfill his promise to help “Yolanda” victims.
“Hindi ako makapag-withdraw ni isang sentimo sa sarili kong pera. Hindi ko po magamit para man lang makatulong lalong-lalo na sa biktima ng kalamidad. Kaya po ako ay umutang ng pera para makatulong (I could not withdraw even a cent from my own money. I cannot use my money even to help others, especially the calamity victims. That was why I borrowed money to be able to help),” he said.
The boxing champ also unleashed some punches.
“Andaming nagnanakaw sa gobyerno pero hindi naging subject ng garnishment ang bank accounts at properties. Ako na nagpapabugbog para lang kumita ng pera at makapagbigay ng karangalan sa bansa ganito ang nangyari (Many steal from government but their bank accounts and properties were not subject of garnishment. On the other hand, this is what happens to somebody like me who receives blows to earn a living and to bring honor to the country),” he said.
He appealed to the Bureau of Internal Revenues to lift the order.
“Andami kong empleyado at scholars, at biktimang nangangailangan ng tulong. Di naman ako tatakbo (I have so many employees and scholars and there are victims who need help. I will not run away from my tax case,” he said.
“Ang pera kong ginarnish ng BIR ay hindi po nakaw at hindi po PDAF o DAP. Ito po ay galing sa lahat ng suntok, bugbog, pawis at dugo na tiniis ko po sa taas ng ring (The money garnished by the BIR was not stolen at this is not PDAF [priority development assistance fund] or DAP [disbursement acceleration program]. This came from all the blows, mauling, and the sweat and blood that I shed on top of the ring),” he added.
In an interview Monday morning, Pacquiao said he was going to find a way to be able to fulfill his promise to visit Yolanda-stricken areas and extend help to those in need.
“With God’s help, we will always find a way. We will overcome this challenge,” he earlier told the INQUIRER by phone.
Pacquiao said he would prioritize giving goods to the typhoon victims who hardly received relief assistance.
Pacquiao said his staff members were still packing the relief goods intended for the victims of supertyphoon “Yolanda” in the Visayas.
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