Palace says BIR told to address Marcos family's unpaid P203-B estate taxes

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 05 2022 07:26 PM

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr (2nd L), former senator and son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, his sister Imee (2nd R) and their mother, former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos(R), listen to the national anthem during a wreath-laying ceremony at a monument to the late dictator during celebrations to mark his 100th birthday in Batac, Ilocos Norte province, north of Manila on September 10, 2017. Noel Celis, AFP

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has already "called the attention" of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to address the Marcos family's P203 billion worth of unpaid estate taxes, Malacañang said on Tuesday after a group urged government to do something about it, .

In a statement earlier in the day, poll watchdog Kawani Kontra Daya said the Duterte administration should "urgently and decisively" act on the matter since the billions worth of tax liabilities could be used to boost economic recovery.

"We are deeply concerned about the issue considering the staggering amount involved," the group's spokesperson Rose Deblois said.

"We consider this as an issue of good governance and an electoral issue too because government officials including presidential aspirants should be examples of good citizenry," she added. 

Former Sen. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., the only son and namesake of the late dictator, is seeking the presidency in the May elections. He and her mother, Imelda, are co-administrators of the estate left by the Marcos patriarch who died in Hawaii on Sept. 29, 1989.

Acting Palace spokesperson Martin Andanar said the Marcos family's estate tax liabilities is an issue even from the previous administrations and not only during Duterte's. 

"President Rodrigo Roa Duterte... has already called the attention of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to address this issue," said Andanar, referring to Duterte's taped address to the nation last week. 

In a speech last March 29, the President called out the BIR for its failure to collect a certain estate tax, without specifying from whom. 

Marcos' spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, claimed last week that the tax case was still being litigated. A Supreme Court ruling showed that the Marcoses' estate tax assessment of P23 billion became "final and executory" in March 1999.

That liability has ballooned to P203 billion due to penalties and interests.

The BIR in a written demand has asked the Marcos family to settle their tax debt. 

Sen. Imee Marcos, sister of Bongbong, last week blamed the revival of the tax issue to politics.

Last month, Malacañang initially refused to comment on the Marcos family's tax liabilities as this supposedly "bordered on politics."


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