Marcos’ “Unpaid Property Taxes”: The Biggest Lie of This Election Season

THE 203 billion pesos that presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso and retired judge Antonio Carpio have alleged are “unpaid property taxes” that the Marcoses owe the government will go down in our political and media history as one of the lies the most absurd to have ever caught the eye. Thanks of course again to the virulent anti-Marcos Philippine Daily Inquirer and Rappler – the only two media outfits who shouted at it.

This “property tax” hubbub was concocted in a desperate move to breathe some life into candidate Moreno’s dying campaign; he went to town to spread that rooster and bull thing. However, by spreading the lie, Moreno has definitively demonstrated that he is completely unfit to be president: he is either so gullible to believe the thread invented by the always scheming Carpio, or so unscrupulous to spread something that he knows himself. -even be a mistake.

It is easy to see that this is a colossal fabrication from the fact that among the alleged assets of Marcos from which the inheritance tax was taken are shares of San Miguel Corp. and the Manila Bulletin, and the actions of late drug tycoon JY Campos and such properties. like Fort Ilocandia, the Coconut Palace and the sugar lands of Roberto S. Benedicto in Negros. Why on earth would the Marcoses pay inheritance tax on these?

Yes, Mr. Mute Candidate, these “unpaid property taxes” include property that the Presidential Commission for Good Government (PCGG) had sequestered in the 1980s. Many of them have been returned by the courts to their owners (in the San Miguel case, to Edgardo Cojuangco), or that the owner had turned over to the government, which then auctioned off shares sold decades ago.

As the current PCGG clarified on March 22 when Moreno’s party asked about these “unpaid property taxes”: when the Cory government sequestered these assets, it “legally claimed them”. [and are in custodial legis]”, and thus beyond Marcos’ rights and responsibilities. Even if the Marcos wanted to pay the alleged property taxes, their membership in government custodial legislation prevents them from doing so.

The PCGG also revealed in its letter that there had been a “verbal agreement” in 2003 between it and the BIR to determine which properties the latter wanted to levy inheritance tax on which were sequestered and which were not. were not. The PCGG and BIR never had time to do this chore, which is understandable as there were 300 lots and over 200 companies/company shares that they had levied inheritance tax on.

Inheritance tax

I think no matter how stupid you are, you need to understand that “property taxes” are different from “real estate” taxes. Indeed, much of the traction for this absurd lie is due to Domagoso and Carpio exploiting the fact that many people confuse property taxes (“amilyar” in Filipino) with property taxes (no Filipino translation) . To avoid such confusion, I will instead use the term Inheritance Tax instead of Inheritance Tax, which are synonymous in Philippine law.

You are the owner of land, and you do not pay taxes on it, called “property” taxes. You will lose this lot when the government seizes it and sells it to pay the amilyar. Compare that to an inheritance tax. Your great-uncle dies, you inherit his assets (not necessarily real estate but stocks for example) which, according to the BIR, is worth 10 million pesos. But you don’t have the 2 million pesos (20% of the value of the property) to pay the inheritance tax that must be paid for it to be transferred to you. Thank you but no thank you, you say to the BIR, hustle it.

If Domagoso and Carpio are correct in their reading of the Internal Revenue Code, I should warn my cousin who has lived in Canada since the 1980s never to visit. He has an uncle who died five years ago here and he’s the sole heir to his properties, but since he’s a tech millionaire there, he’s been too busy to come here to work on the papers for claim ownership, and he doesn’t. cares about it. A lawyer like Carpio may have asked the BIR to calculate the inheritance tax and, finding that he has not paid it, will ask a court to imprison him, as Carpio asked Marcos in his case . (With Domagaso’s apparent misunderstanding of property taxes, the Manila government should check to see if the correct property taxes were levied on its 1.4 billion peso sale of the Divisoria market, apparently to an obscure businessman based in Manila. Tondo.)

With that, it should be clear that Carpio’s outstanding 203 billion peso figure is totally the fruit of his depraved mind. He imagined that the BIR demanded the payment of a fiscal deficit of 23 billion pesos in 1990, which he calculated, due to interest rates and penalties, today amounts to 203 billion pesos. pesos.

He cannot admit in his mind that the 23 billion peso figure is entirely hypothetical, which the BIR says the Marcos would have to pay if these alleged assets were handed over to them. But the Marcoses did not acquire these assets at all, either because they are still sequestered, returned to their true rightful owners (like Cojuangco), or sold. There may be assets that are under their control now, but the BIR did not tell them 35 years ago or today, how much inheritance tax they should have paid on them.

Indeed, the fact that the 23 billion peso figure is only a hypothetical estimate of inheritance tax is the reason why for 35 years since this assessment was issued, five BIR commissioners and five administrations (including two yellow, Fidel Ramos and Benigno Aquino 3rd) had paid no attention to her. Only Carpio to impress the gullible Domagoso was nutty enough to raise this absurd question.


This black inheritance tax propaganda pathetically intended to prevent Marcos, Jr. from winning the May election reminds us of how ruthless the Cory regime has been in its campaign to utterly crush the Marcoses.

In her plot to ensure that the strongman’s death in September 1989 would also mean his total political extinction, which she said would happen if his heirs were left with nothing, Aquino’s BIR rushed to demand in June 1990 the payment of inheritance tax on the Marcos. real estate, which the BIR calculated at 23 billion pesos, a figure deliberately concocted to be so large that his heirs could not afford it.

Whatever assets the strongman might have left them as their inheritance would be confiscated for their non-payment of inheritance tax. How did the BIR arrive at this huge figure?

The maximum rate for calculating inheritance tax at that time was 20% of the value of the assets. To be sure that the inheritance tax would be huge, and after all, since it only had a small staff to sniff out the assets left by the strongman, the BIR simply used the list of assets that the PCGG had sequestered at the time, which the Cory regime had used to create the mythos of Marcos’ massive kleptocracy, inflated to even include the properties of businessmen simply because they were known to be close to the strongman and his wife Imelda.


The BIR then used the figure the PCGG had circulated as the total value of strongman Marcos’ wealth at his death. Thus, the 20% property tax was calculated on the supposed value of the assets that the PCGG had ordered to be sequestered, which was 115 billion pesos, or the ballpark figure of the “hundreds of billions” of the alleged “wealth”. ill-gotten” by Marcos, the Cory. the regime had trotted out. In their haste to exact an inheritance tax on Marcos’ properties, the BIR added every property they could think of that they had heard about from friends of friends that allegedly belonged to Marcos.

There was another motive for the Cory regime to demand the 23 billion peso inheritance tax. She worried that her forcible confinement would be challenged in court, which could declare that such confiscations were illegal or that the PCGG could not prove that they were acquired through bribery. This is in fact what has happened in so many cases, exemplified by the return of San Miguel and the coconut royalty businesses to Edgardo Cojuangco.

If that happened, Cory’s lawyers assured him, the Marcoses would not have access to the assets on which inheritance tax was imposed, because they had not paid the 23 billion pesos in inheritance tax plus the penalties.

It turned out, however, that this ploy was too stupid for any government lawyer to raise the issue to prevent a receivership from being lifted on a particular property. How, for example, Hacienda de Fuego, which was on the BIR list, should be liable for inheritance tax when this list did not assign a value to it, the total figure of 23 billion pesos being simply an “estimate” of the total value of the 500 assets.

What a waste of time this question raised by Domagoso has been.

Facebook: Rigoberto Tiglao

Twitter: @bobitiglao


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