Manila Bulletin : Marcos camp says no 'finality' from court yet on estate tax debt charges

4 March 2022

By Joseph Pedrajas | Manila Bulletin

The camp of presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has urged Aksyon Demokratiko chairman Ernest Romel to “widen his research” first before daring Marcos Jr. to answer the P200 billion estate tax debt.

Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, Marcos Jr.’s spokesman, said in a statement that if Romel would research his allegations, he would realize that these have already been answered by the Marcos camp “in the past and it would surely help him come up with a more responsible statement in the future.”

Rodriguez’s remark came after Romel said in a press conference, Thursday, that refusing to pay an estate tax is an “abuse of power,” a neglect of the law, and a “disrespect” to other taxpayers. He was referring to the Marcos family’s tax debts.

Romel heads the Aksyon Demokratiko party, whose standard bearer is another presidential aspirant, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.

Rodriguez maintained that such a case “is hinged on a legal issue that has yet to attain finality.”

It was because 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 thus, the properties subject of the estate tax case are still under litigation.”

Rodriguez also asserted that “in fact, even the Bureau of Internal Revenue (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.”

It was also “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,” Rodriguez added.