Manila, Philippines – The chief of Bureau of Internal Revenue, Commisioner Kim Henares clarified in a news interview that only P1.1-million of Manny Pacquiao’s bank deposits were garnished by the tax agency and it was all related to the P2.2-billion tax case filed earlier against the boxing superstar.
Speaking on TV Patrol, Henares said that only two(2) banks responded to BIR’s warrant of garnishment issued against Pacquiao’s twenty-two (22) bank accounts. The 2 accounts have P300,000 and P800,000 respectively, for a total of P1.1M, according to Henares.
“Tingin ko sa laki ng kinita niya at sa dami ng pera niya, ang P1.1 million ay napakaliit so hindi natin alam kung nagsisinungaling ang bangko or what, “ Henares said. (I think, with his enormous income and money, P1.1-million is a paltry sum, so we’re not sure if the bank is lying). The BIR chief also insinuated that Pacquiao could have either withdrawn his money before the agency issued the warrant of disdain and levy, or it could have been deposited in an offshore account.
She also tried to shed light on Pacquiao camp’s allegation that BIR did not accept the documents earlier provided by the boxer saying it was not what they were looking for.
“Ang sumulat sa amin ay ‘yung Top Rank na sinabi niya na siya ay nagbayad sa IRS. Hindi naman ‘yun katanggap-tanggap na papeles, ang kailangan naming papeles ay ‘yung return na finile niya sa Internal Revenue Service ng Amerika.” (Top Rank wrote us a letter stating that Manny paid his taxes with IRS. We just could not accept that as a document, because we need the tax return as proof that he indeed filed before the Internal Revenue Service of America.)
Henares insisted that the agency had been asking for the same tax return since 2010 and that they have waited two years for the lawmaker-boxer to reply. She also denied any politics involved in the BIR move and that Pacquiao was not singled out as a case, even explaining that they have, in fact, extended leniency towards the boxing champ so his fights will not be affected.
“Kaya naging dalawang taon dahil every time may gagawin kami ay may laban siya, ayaw naman namin istorbohin kapag may laban siya dahil baka kami ang sisihin kapag natalo siya. (It went on for two years because every time we need to take a step, it coincided with his boxing matches, and we didn’t want to distract him and get blamed should he lose.)
But Pacquiao immediately disputed Henares’ claim that only 2 banks were issued with warrant of garnishment. He said that it also included accounts in HSBC, BDO, Metrobank and Chinabank, among others. He added that even his wife Jinky’s account was frozen and that they are to settle more than P2.2-billion in tax liability.
Pacquiao also reiterated that he had already provided the BIR copies of tax records from the IRS.
“Ilang kopya na binigay namin. Nagbigay talaga. Kasi, pwede ba naming ipa-delay iyan? Problema iyan pag ‘di nabigay, ‘di ba? Talagang nag-provide kami.” (We provided several copies. We really turned them in. We can’t delay those things, can we? We know it will be a problem, right? We really did provide the copies.)
Although he admitted he had not spoken yet to Comm. Henares, Pacquiao appealed for consideration from the BIR chief. He said “Nagpapakumbaba ako, nakikiusap. Hindi naman ako kriminal, hindi ko naman tatalikuran yan kung may problema man. Nakapag- appeal na iyung abogado ko.” (I humbly asked for understanding. I am not a criminal, and I won’t turn my back from any problem if there’s any. My lawyer already filed an appeal).
Meanwhile, Pacquiao’s lawyer Remegio Rojas disclosed the boxing champ resorted to borrowing money from friends because all his bank accounts were frozen due to the notice of garnishment issued by BIR. Although Pacquiao is expecting a take home pay of around $30-million (including pay-per-view shares) from the recent match with Brandon Rios in Macau, the Filipino boxer will still have to wait a little time to get paid, according to the lawyer.