Boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao has no intention of demanding special treatment from the government in connection with the tax problem he is facing with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Lawyer Tranquil Salvador, legal counsel for Pacquiao, said the ring hero needs compassion, not special treatment, from the government.
In a news forum in Quezon City yesterday, Salvador disclosed that Pacquiao, who is currently on a humanitarian mission in typhoon-stricken areas in Eastern Visayas, has no intention of taking advantage of his unprecedented contributions to Philippine sports or his popularity in facing the tax issue.
Salvador stressed that while Pacquiao has become a ring idol and hero among Filipino and international fans and recently, a symbol of hope to typhoon victims, he has no intention to take advantage of these in his bid to clear himself from the tax mess.
“Just give us a chance to be heard, give us the right to due process and judicial courtesy,” said Pacquiao’s counsel. The BIR has issued notices of levy and distraint to prevent the Mindanao lawmaker from
accessing deposits in at least five bank accounts in a bid to get payment of over P2 billion in allegedly unpaid taxes from Pacquiao’s earnings in 2009.
Salvador said the BIR directive has affected Pacquiao’s congressional staff and scholars because the revenue agency has stopped withdrawal of funds from the solon’s banks.
“Ang district staff nya hindi pa sumusweldo, pati allowance ng congressional staff sa House of Representatives nadamay kasi naka-deposit ang pera sa bangko niya,” claimed Salvador. (Ben R. Rosario)