MANILA - Two fellow lawmakers on Tuesday defended Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, whose bank accounts have been frozen in connection with a multibillion-peso tax case that the boxing icon is facing at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Rep. Lito Atienza called the decision to freeze the bank deposits of boxing icon--supposedly by the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA)-- a "party spoiler" following Pacquiao's victory over Brandon Rios.
The CTA, however, clarified Tuesday that it did not issue a freeze order, but that it was the BIR that issued a warrant of garnishment to banks, which in effect froze Pacquiao's accounts.
Atienza said Pacquiao's experience leaves a bad taste in the mouth.
He also believes that the BIR should go after major smugglers first and prioritize going after big-time crooks.
He advised Pacquiao to get the best lawyers for his defense.
Meanwhile, Rep. Carol Lopez of Yakap party-list believes that Pacquiao is wrongly accused.
She said Pacquiao is a god-fearing, patriotic, and a responsible citizen of the country.
She said the boxing icon pays millions of pesos in taxes yearly.
Pacquiao's tax case stemmed from the reported failure of his accountant to report in his income tax returns the millions of dollars-worth of taxes he paid in the US in relation to his fight purses from 2008 to 2009.