Supreme Court rescues Pacquiaos in tax case

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 20 2014 05:41 PM | Updated as of Aug 21 2014 04:57 AM

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - The Supreme Court on Wednesday stopped the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) from collecting P3.3 billion cash bond or around P5 billion surety bond from boxing icon and Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee.

The Supreme Court's 3rd Division issued an indefinite Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the CTA order that required the cash bond or surety bond as a condition for the suspension of collection of their alleged deficiency income taxes and VAT for the 2008 and 2009 by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.  

The TRO enjoins the BIR from "issuing, executing, enforcing, implementing, or otherwise giving effect to any warrant of distraint and/or levy, warrants of garnishment, and notice of tax lien, and from attempting to collect any tax on the basis of the deficiency income tax and vat assessments against petitioners for the years 2008 and 2009, as well as any increments."

The Supreme Court also ordered the CTA to resolve the case against the Pacquiaos with dispatch.

The tax court imposed the bond when it stopped the BIR from garnishing the properties of Pacquiao and his wife, Jinkee.

In a July 11 resolution, the tax court dismissed an appeal and gave the Pacquiaos 30 days to post a cash bond worth P3,298,514,894.35 or a GSIS bond or surety bond worth P 4,947,772,341.53.

"The issuance of the TRO by the Supreme Court is an answered prayer for Cong. Manny," said Pacquiao's lawyer, Atty. Tranquil Salvador III.

"The CTA case will proceed but not the distraint, levy, and  garnishment while the TRO is in effect," he said.

“Sa extent na ‘yan ay masasabi nating siya (Pacquiao) po ay pinalad… maaring pinalad kami ng isang round,” Salvador told dzMM.

In a 75-page petition filed at the Supreme Court, Pacquiao’s lawyers argued that they were denied due process by the BIR, and that the agency reportedly “bloated” the computation of his tax deficiency.

They also claimed that the CTA abused its authority and said it is impossible for the boxer to come up with the P3.2 billion cash bond since Pacquiao’s net worth as of July 1 is only P1.18 billion.

“Sa extent na ‘yan ay masasabi nating siya (Pacquiao) po ay pinalad… maaring pinalad kami ng isang round,” Salvador told dzMM.

But the lawyer said the boxer’s legal battle is not yet over as they still have to address their main case, which is his P2.2 billion tax case with the BIR.