Isko's campaign strategist urges DOF chief to collect Marcos family's P203-B tax debt

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2022 06:11 PM

MANILA - The camp of Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno Domagoso on Tuesday urged Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to order the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to collect the Marcos family's P203-billion tax debt, noting that the scions of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos are not cash-strapped.

Dominguez, a member of President Rodrigo Duterte's PDP-Laban, should tell former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to settle his family's decades-long debt, Domagoso's chief campaign strategist Lito Banayo said in a press conference.

"Ngayong nagkakandahirap hirap tayo para humanap ng pera para pang-ayuda... siguro naman dapat ang DOF (Department of Finance) utusan na dapat ang BIR na singilin ang P203 billion na ito upang itulong na ayuda sa mga nawalan ng trabaho," he said.

(Now that we are having a hard time seeking funds for cash aid... perhaps the DOF should order the BIR to collect the P203 billion as it can be used for additional cash aid for those who lost their jobs.)

"Siguro naman kaya nilang sabihan 'yung kandidato nila... na hilingin naman na nila, 'Bakit hindi mo muna bayaran yung estate tax na hiningi ng Supreme Court with finality and definitely executory?'" he said.

(Perhaps they can tell their candidate... ask him, 'Why don't you pay your estate tax that the Supreme Court demanded with finality and is definitely executory.)

If the P203 billion is divided among the 4.2 million Filipinos who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, each of those jobless persons would get P48,833, Banayo said.

That means 4.2 million jobless Filipinos can get about P4,000 in monthly cash aid for a year, he said.

The Marcos family's capacity to pay for a debt they incurred for 25 years should not be a question, he noted.

"Bakit itong pinagpalang pamilyang ito... hindi man lang [sinisingil]?" he asked.

(Why is this family so privileged that they are not being charged?)

"Isang painting ni Picasso, Monet, Pissarro ay $200 million. Bakit hindi puntahan ng BIR o PCGG [Presidential Commission on Good Government] ang condominium ng mga Marcos?" he said, referring to the Marcos family's collection of paintings.

(One painting either from Picasso, Monet or Pissarro is worth $200 million. Why can't the BIR or PCGG go into the Marcos' condominiums?)

Since early March, Aksyon Demokratiko began highlighting Marcos Jr.'s failure to settle their estate taxes for decades, saying a presidential candidate's moral character must be "above the usual standard."

"Sa kasalukuyan, kami lang 'yung masigasig na hinahabol itong isyung ito," Askyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel Jr. said.

(As of the moment, we are the only ones who are consistently going after this issue.)

"Ito po talaga ay dapat pag-usapan, dapat i-pursue regardless kung 'yung ibang katunggali niya (Marcos) ay gusto ring i-pursue ito," he said.

(We really have to talk about this, and pursue it whether or not Marcos' other rivals wish to pursue it.)

Marcos Jr. topped pre-election surveys in the past months, with over half of respondents picking him as their presidential bet.

Vice President Leni Robredo ranked second, while Domagoso is in third place.

When asked why the billions of pesos worth of debt is not making a dent on Marcos Jr.'s popularity, Banayo said: "Wala naman survey pa na nangyayari since March... so it is difficult for us to guess the impact of this."

(No survey has been conducted since March so it is difficult for us to guess the impact of this.)

While Domagoso's camp wants to put "front and center" Marcos Jr.'s character, the team is not keen on bombarding social media with materials explaining the issue, Ramel said.

"'Yung mga kabataan, tutal lagi silang nasa device nila, puwede nilang i-research," he said.

(Since the youth are always on their devices, they can research this.)

"Minsan kasi nadro-drown out nung ibang social media campaigns na nagkakalat ng kasinungalingan," he said.

(Sometimes, some social media campaigns are drowned out by those who are peddling lies.)