Ill-gotten gains and Marcos property taxes

LOYAL supporters consistently claim that there is no evidence to support the existence of any ill-gotten wealth by the Marcos family. This assertion is devoid of truth. In 2003, the Supreme Court ruled in GR 152154 that the total amount of $356 million, which was valued at $658 million at the time the decision was made, was secretly deposited in various Swiss banks and later remitted in escrow at the National Bank of the Philippines under a Swiss court ruling in 1998, were ill-gotten.

The high court ruled that the income lawfully acquired by the Marcos would have been $304,372.43, valued at the applicable period, and any excess thereof would have been unexplained wealth and therefore considered ill-gotten. In the words of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, the court said: “Respondent Marcoses has failed to substantiate the lawful nature of his acquisition of said assets. Accordingly, the Swiss Deposits must be considered as improper property. acquired and confiscated for the benefit of the State.

In addition, other court rulings have established the existence of ill-gotten wealth by the Marcos. In GR 149802, enacted in 2006, the court ordered the forfeiture of Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s shares in the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) on the presumption that they were ill-gotten. The court was particularly scathing when it ruled that: “In PCGG v. Peña, this Court, describing the rule of Marcos as a ‘twenty-year-old entrenched regime of plunder’, noted ‘the extent of the organized plunder of the past regime” and the ingenuity of the looters and looters with the help of the experts and the best lawyers available in the market. The evidence presented in this case reveals one more example of this grand scheme. In 2012, another case was cited by the court where it ordered the confiscation of all the assets of Arelma SA, an entity created by Marcos Sr., in favor of the government on the grounds that they were allegedly ill-gotten. court also ruled in GR 213207 that all collections of Imelda Marcos were deemed ill-gotten.

That said, however, it is important to also question the claims of many Marcos critics, now echoed and amplified by Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso about the billions of pesos in Marcos tax debt. This was revealed earlier by former senior associate judge Antonio Carpio who revealed that when Marcos Sr. died in 1989 his inheritance tax was 23.29 billion pesos. The Marcos heirs have not filed tax returns or paid the tax required by law. With interest, the amount would have reached 203.8 billion pesos. Last December, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) revealed that it had sent a formal notice to the Marcos regarding their tax obligations.

The BIR has defined an inheritance tax as “a tax on the right of the deceased person to transmit his estate to his heirs and lawful assigns at the time of death”. An estate, on the other hand, refers to all the money and property that belongs to the deceased at the time of his death.

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Complicating the issue here is the fact that when Marcos Sr. died in 1989, virtually all of his assets were placed in receivership for possible forfeiture on the grounds that they were ill-gotten. Under section 6 of RA 1379, anything in excess of legally justifiable income would be considered ill-gotten. In fact, in GR 152154, the court found that the legally justifiable income of the Marcos couple, not just Marcos Sr., was just $304,372.73. It is therefore implied that anything above these would be considered ill-gotten and should be confiscated, some of which had in fact already been confiscated.

As such, these would be assets, whether money or property, that would no longer be the property of the Marcos and should be confiscated for the benefit of the state. They also could not be inherited since Marcos Sr. would not own them. So it behooves us to ask ourselves how these assets can yield an inheritance tax worth 23.29 billion pesos, unless even those deemed by law to be ill-gotten have been included in the calculations. Indeed, according to the BIR, an inheritance tax is levied “on the basis of the laws in force at the time of death notwithstanding the postponement of the effective possession or enjoyment of the estate by the beneficiary”. But this assumes that the said heritage is eventually inherited by the heirs, which is no longer possible in the case of seized and confiscated property.

I have always been for fairness in recounting the events of our history, whether remote or recent, and it is indeed the height of negative revisionism to claim that there is an absence of truth legally or judicially determined which establishes the existence of ill-gotten gains. wealth attributed to the Marcos family. However, it is equally important to clarify and demand the logic of claims regarding tax liability, when the very fact of having ill-gotten wealth could contradict the basis for such tax liability.

Arguing that former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. may not have been directly responsible is beside the point, although it should be made clear that he most likely would have benefited from it, as an heir. legal. In fact, in some of these cases, Marcos Jr. was implicated or was himself a petitioner. So it’s a fact that he has a manageable interest in the matter. And now that he’s running for office, he’s actually the frontrunner, and he has a very good chance of winning, it’s important that those facts be stated. It’s up to voters whether or not to hold him accountable as they exercise their right on May 9. After all, the duty to elect the president has always rested with the electorate, not the courts.

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