Marcoses is not insolvent: Koko requests an investigation into Marcos’ property taxes

Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos Jr. visits Guiguinto, Bulacan as part of the election campaign on March 8, 2022. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Senate’s proposed investigation into the Marcos family’s estate tax debts is not politically motivated and is in the national interest, Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Tuesday.

The survey is in support of the legislation and the public could benefit from the Marcos’ 203 billion peso inheritance tax, according to the senator.

“They ignored everything, now it’s 203 billion pesos. Di ba tayo interesado doon as a nation? Ngayong marami nang naghihirap, naghahanap ng pondo, saan mangggaling ang ayuda? 100 billion pesos nahanap na ayuda, 203 billion pesos,” he told ANC Headstart.

“This is a matter of national interest made all the more interesting by the fact that the favorite of the inquiry belongs to the family which inherits the estate of the late Ferdinand Marcos. Kailangan ipaliwanag bakit ganun kalaki ang estate.”

The Marcoses should have been able to pay the amount of basic property tax that the Supreme Court finally decided in 1999, or 23 billion pesos, Pimentel said. The amount has since climbed to 203 billion pesos due to interest, fees and surcharges.

“The BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) estimate of the estate is over 100 billion pesos, which is why the tax due is 23 billion pesos. This type of estate should be able to afford lawyers who can fight for the rights of the domain,” he said.

“The BIR started with the 100,000,000,000 pesos. We can at least collect the inheritance tax amount.”

Former and current BIR officials and administrators of the Marcos estate should be summoned to the Senate hearing, Pimentel said.

“I want to know what the weaknesses are in our tax laws, in the National Internal Revenue Code. How come BIR can’t seem to collect such a world record amount that BIR has already won in a final decision,” did he declare.

Pimentel is the son of former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr, who was arrested multiple times during the Marcos dictatorship and co-founded PDP-Laban to oppose the strongman.

A PDP-Laban faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi backed the presidential candidacy of Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Pimentel, who leads a PDP-Laban faction that backs Senator Manny Pacquiao’s presidential bid, said he was “glad we had this schism in the party” that led to “automatic cleansing.”

“They believe in personality-based politics. If they leave us, then we are blessed,” he said.

“The status quo was me and Senator Manny leading PDP-Laban and General Secretary Melvin Matibag filed a lawsuit against us asking Comelec for them to be recognized. They are the ones filing a lawsuit to change the status quo. “

Pacquiao still has “a narrow road to victory”, according to Pimentel, who said he had “lost faith” in election polls.

“We will respect his decision and if he says there is no way he will step down, we are with him. We never expected him to step down when we joined him from the first day,” he said.

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