MANILA, Philippines – As the Bulong Pulungan media forum was held last Tuesday, a journalist posed a question to President Benigno Aquino III about Manny Pacquiao.
“Will President Aquino give boxing champ Manny Pacquiao a tax amnesty if proven that he has not paid the correct taxes?”
This was the question asked by the journalist, which President Aquino answered that tax amnesty is usually given to a certain group of individuals and not just one individual. He also added that Congress has to approve the proposal for tax amnesty.
“At the end of the day, I think the lesson has to be that if you are guilty of a particular crime, you have to exhibit a degree of remorse. But at this point of time, he says he has complied with all the requirements so I think this is crossing the bridge that is too far away,” he said.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue is questioning the decrease in Pacquiao’s payments in his income taxes issued on 2009. BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said that the BIR has been waiting for two years for Manny Pacquiao to provide them a copy of his tax return filed with the IRS.
Last November 28, the President also urged the champion boxer not to engage in a media war with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“If he did right, then I’m sure he will be able to prove that he did right, and therefore there is no issue. So the way to settle it is to answer all of these queries by the BIR and not to engage in a media war. The media will not decide who is right or wrong, ‘di ba? (Isn’t it?) It will be our courts eventually, if it gets to that,” Aquino said to defend the BIR’s tax collection case as legitimate.