The Manila Times : Marcos camp hits back at 'propagandist' Carpio over estate tax row

6 April 2022

By Catherine S. Valente | The Manila Times

THE camp of presidential frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Tuesday took a swipe at retired Supreme Court (SC) justice Antonio Carpio after the he claimed that the Marcos family has the obligation to pay the estate tax that has ballooned to over P203 billion.

"Our political adversary is again painting the town yellow with his usual falsehood, lies, hatred and black propaganda," said Victor Rodriguez, spokesman of Marcos, referring to the recent statement of Carpio, whom he referred as a "propagandist" lawyer, on the Marcos family's unpaid estate tax.

"In G.R. No. 120880, the very case cited by our hateful critics, they conveniently omitted to mention that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) have issued a total of thirty (30) Notices of Levy, resorted to public sale of levied properties and there being no bidder, lots subject of the public sale was declared forfeited in favor of the government in satisfaction of the estate tax due," he said.

Rodriguez also said that "as held in this case by the Supreme Court, 'in the case of notices of levy issued to satisfy the delinquent estate tax, 'the delinquent taxpayer is the Estate of the decedent, and not necessarily, and exclusively Bongbong Marcos as heir of the deceased.'"

"Mindful that cases are still pending in court, truth however must be told, peddlers of lies unmasked; negative and hateful campaigning be stopped," he added.

Carpio, in statement on Tuesday, said that under the Tax Code and the Revenue Regulations, "the co-administrators of the Marcos Estate, Imelda Marcos and Ferdinand Marcos, Jr, as well as the other heirs of Marcos Sr., are expressly made liable to pay the estate tax in the original amount of P23.3 billion, which has now ballooned to over P203 billion."

The retired magistrate said the SC issued a May 9, 1999 ruling that declared that the liability of the Marcos family in the estate tax is "final and executory."

He cited that Section 91(D) of the Tax Code states that: "The estate tax imposed by Section 84 shall be paid by the executor or administrator before delivery to any beneficiary of his distributive share of the estate."

Carpio also pointed out that implementing rules of the Tax Code states that: "Where there are two or more executors or administrators, all of them are severally liable for the payment of the tax. Xxx the executor or administrator of an estate has the primary obligation to pay the estate tax, but the heir or beneficiary has subsidiary liability for the payment of that portion of the estate which his distributive share bears to the value of the total net estate."

"Clearly, the Tax Code and its implementing regulations impose upon the co-administrators of the Marcos Estate the primary obligation to pay the estate tax, and the subsidiary obligation to pay the estate tax falls on all the heirs in proportion to their distributive share in the estate," he said.

Carpio also disputed the claims of the Marcos family that they were denied due process in the case.

He cited that the SC's June 5 1997 main decision indicating that the Marcos family was given "an opportunity to raise objections to government action, and such opportunity was disregarded, for no justifiable reason."

"He who comes to court must come with clean hands. Otherwise, he not only taints his name, but ridicules the very structure of established authority," Carpio added.