: Unsettled estate tax? Properties still under litigation, says Marcos camp

4 March 2022

By Neil Arwin Mercado |

MANILA, Philippines — The estimated P200 billion estate tax of the Marcos family remains unsettled since the properties linked to the case are still under litigation, the camp of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said.

Atty. Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson of Marcos Jr., made the statement Thursday night after Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Ramel criticized the Marcos family, particularly the presidential candidate, for refusing to pay the P200 billion estate tax despite an order from the Supreme Court.

“For the enlightenment of Mr. Ramel, this case is hinged on a legal issue that has yet to attain finality since the government through the public prosecutors has filed a Motion for Reconsideration with the Sandiganbayan, on the forfeiture proceedings on the very same properties that were made the tax base in the computation of the estate tax by the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) thus, the properties subject of the estate tax case are still under litigation,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

“In fact, even BIR and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) have arrived at an agreement for the BIR to wait for the decision on the said case before any collection enforcement activities and to establish ownership of the subject properties with certainty to determine with accuracy the fair and just tax base to be used in computing estate taxes, if any,” he added.

In response to Rodriguez, Ramel questioned why Marcos Jr. cannot directly answer himself the criticisms over the unpaid estate tax.

“As usual, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. can not and will not answer directly himself and instead his spokesperson does his bidding which is a shame,” Ramel said in a Viber message.

“Again, we challenge that Marcos Jr. answer these issues directly and look the public in the eye as he does. Straightforward with no bs,” he added.

In 1997, the Supreme Court affirmed an earlier ruling made by the Court of Appeals which states that ”the deficiency assessments for estate and income tax made upon the petitioner and the estate of the deceased President Marcos have already become final and unappealable, and may thus be enforced by the summary remedy of levying upon the properties” of late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

The Marcoses, however, have contested the case, leading the amount to accumulate to over P200 billion, as estimated, including penalties that have accumulated in the decades that the Marcos heirs failed to pay it.