MANILA – The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) said it did not suffer from a knockout punch and, in fact, welcomed the cease and desist order issued by the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) on the bureau's collection of over P2 billion in deficiency taxes and ongoing garnishment proceedings against boxing champ and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
Reacting to a resolution by the tax appeals court's First Division, BIR Deputy Commissioner Estela Sales said in a news conference that the bureau is "happy" with the ruling since it "protects" the interest of government while the garnishment case against Pacquiao is pending before the tax court.
In a resolution, dated April 22, the CTA's First Division handed down the suspension order under the condition that Pacquiao deposits either a cash bond of P3.29 billion, or a surety bond of P4.95 billion -- more than the total amount government is after.
Should Pacquiao fail to deposit the bond within 10 days, the CTA said the BIR may proceed with the collection of the tax deficiencies and its garnishment of the lawmaker's assets.
"Failure to post the required cash or surety bond... within ten days from receipt of this resolution will warrant the setting aside of the suspension of collection of taxes as herein granted," the resolution read.
"In other words, we are happy with that decision because the interest of the government is amply protected... we are there to protect the interest of the government. Now, with the bond, it's going to be amply protected.
"If they fail to put up the bond, we will continue with our garnishment and all the modes by which we can enforce collection," Sales said.
The CTA said the bond required of Pacquiao "must be a continuing bond," meaning, it shall remain until the garnishment case is finally decided.