By Michelle R. Guillang | Daily Tribune
The camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday asserted that he has paid taxes and fines in connection with the penalties he received following his 1997 tax conviction.
Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos’s spokesperson and chief of staff, released to media documents that he claimed are pieces of evidence that prove that the former senator has settled his tax issues.
“It has been paid. We owe nothing to the government and the disqualification case against Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. has no basis. There is no basis for his certificate of candidacy to be denied,” Rodriguez said during a press briefing.
He presented a certification dated 9 December 2021 and a receipt from the Bureau of the Internal Revenue (BIR), stating that Marcos paid fines worth P67,137 in 2001, in compliance with a 1997 Court of Appeals (CA) ruling.
The said amount was the “total deficiency taxes and fines due,” based on the BIR receipt.
“In here, in this certification, it is clearly stated that the dues for 1982, ’83, ’84, and ’85 have been paid. So Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos no longer owes any taxes, penalty, or interest,” Rodriguez said.
He added that Marcos’ legal team purposedly did not release the said documents at a much earlier time, noting that it is because the petitioners seeking to disqualify Marcos from the 2022 polls are “fishing for evidence.”
Rodriguez was referring to the petition lodged by a group represented by former Supreme Court (SC) spokesperson Ted Te and other groups seeking Marcos’ removal from the list of official candidates from the ballots for the 2022 national elections.
“We hope that with this certification, all issues arising from his alleged non-payment of taxes will be finally put to rest and that we can now all celebrate Christmas with peace of mind,” Rodriguez noted.
Earlier, Te’s group has secured a new court certification stating that Marcos failed to comply to pay a fine when he was convicted of failure to file income tax returns (ITR) in 1997.
Based on the certification dated 14 December 2021 from the Office of the Clerk of Court of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC), Marcos has no record in the lower court of Marcos Jr.’s payment of a fine in the tax evasion cases ordered by the CA.
In the first court certification dated 2 December secured by Te’s camp, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 105 stated that there is no record on file of Marcos’ compliance of payment or satisfaction on CA’s ruling in 1997.
The new court certification was attached to the memorandum filed by Te’s group on Monday, the deadline for both Marcos’ camp and petitioners to submit their respective memorandum concerning the former senator’s first certificate of candidacy (CoC) cancellation case before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
In their memorandum, the petitioners argued that Marcos made two false claims in his CoC, thus it must be canceled. They added that Marcos was convicted of a crime and is perpetually disqualified to hold public office.
Despite his conviction, they averred that Marcos allegedly has not served the penalty imposed pursuant to his criminal conviction.