Don’t ‘knockout’ Pacquiao, lawmakers appeal to Kim
Colleagues of Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao yesterday asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to be discreet in dealing with the newly crowned world welterweight champion’s tax obligations from his the multi-million dollar purse for winning his fight with American Timothy Bradley last Sunday.
Congressmen said Commissioner Kim Henares should be careful in BIR’s bid to collect the government’s share from Pacquiao’s winnings so it won’t dampen the fans’ celebration of his victory and to avoid speculations that the Mindanao solon is being made part of the revenue agency’s shame campaign against suspected tax evaders.
“The BIR should keep the tax issue away from the public. It will just dampen the celebratory spirit of Pinoy’s right now,” said Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano.
“Henares should deal with him personally – in private – and settle what needs to be settled as regards the tax due,” he added.
Reps. Roy Seneres (OFW Famly Partylist) and Terry Ridon (Kabataan Partylist) agreed that Pacquiao and his accountants should be given enough time to submit his income records and settle the tax due the government.
The lawmakers issued statements on the BIR’s seemingly unforgiving tax collection stance as various social media cites had criticisms against Henares crowding congratulatory messages for Pacquiao after the BIR chief reminded Pacquiao to report his earnings from his Sunday’s fight a few days before the boxing bout with Bradley.
Be Kind, Kim Told
“Don’t knock him out yet. The BIR should be kind to Manny,” said Seneres after Pacquiao regained his world title in a convincing manner against Bradley.
On the other hand, Kabataan Ridon advised Henares against placing Pacquiao in her “shame campaign” list.
“We should enforce tax liability without need for BIRs oft-criticized shaming campaign,” said Ridon.
He added: “We also hope that Ms. Henares won’t rain on Manny’s parade like she did the last time.”
Seneres said Henares should realize that Pacquiao’s victory has once again given Filipinos a reason to unite and cheer, adding that the boxing legend served as an inspiration for the victims of calamities for them to “rise again” despite the odds.
“These are things that money can’t buy,” said Seneres.
But Deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte defended Henares, saying she’s merely doing her job by collecting the proper taxes.
“Perhaps it was just a reminder. At this point, I don’t think that she meant to be a spoiler to his victory,” Valte said in a Palace press briefing.
Good For Tourism
Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing said Pacquiao’s victory has once again placed the country on “top of the world.”
“The win is good for tourism,” he said. (With a report from Genalyn D. Kabiling)