Aksyon Demokratiko Chairman calls on Marcoses to pay estate tax debts

By: Doris C. Bongcac - CDN Digital | March 03,2022 - 07:20 PM
isko Moreno

Presidential aspirant and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno

Aksyon Demokratiko Chairman Ernest Ramel on Thursday criticized the Marcos family, particularly the son and namesake of the late dictator former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for their refusal to pay an estimated P200 billion in estate tax debts despite an order coming from the Supreme Court.

In a media briefing at the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President Headquarters in Intramuros, Manila, Ramel said the Marcos family’s avoidance to pay the estate tax is a clear demonstration of “abuse of power, disregard for the laws enforced by the government and lack of respect to citizens who religiously pay their taxes imposed on them.”

“Ang ganitong klaseng karakter at pag-uugali ay hindi dapat tinutularan at lalong hindi dapat inihahalal bilang pangulo. Kung talagang sinsero sa sinasabi niyang ‘kilusan ng pagkakaisa’ si Marcos Jr, nararapat lamang na magbayad sila ng takdang buwis na ngayon ay nasa P200-B na. Nasabi na ni Mayor Isko na ang naturang halaga ay maaring gamitin bilang ayuda sa mga Pilipinong tinamaan ng husto ng pandemya,” Ramel told reporters.

Ramel continued: “Alternatively, bahagi ng nasabing halaga ay maaring din magamit upang mapondohang makapagpatayo ng 17 world-class regional hospitals tulad ng Ospital ng Maynila na kanya ng nabanggit bilang bahagi ng kanyang plataporma. Ito ay magbibigay ng libo-libong trabaho sa larangan ng construction at kapag nagsimula na ang operasyon ng mga ito, libo-libong nurses at medical professionals ang magkakaroon ng stable na pagkakakitaan. Higit pa dito, agarang matutugunan ang pangangailangan sa kalusugan at medikal ng ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga mahihirap.”

In the same media briefing, Ramel  also questioned Marcos Jr’s refusal to answer directly or squarely other issues hounding him which is seeking truth and answers.

One issue that Ramel wants to get the truth from Marcos Jr. himself is about the Bangui windmills which he openly used in his TV commercials on whether its construction was his idea or plan.

“Gusto lamang namin talagang malaman, ideya po ba niya talaga ito at plano? Proyekto po ba ninyo ito? O ito ay mula sa isang wind mapping study na ginawa ng US-based National Renewable Energy (NREL) noong 1996 na pinagbasehan ng isang pribadong kumpanya na NorthWind Power Development Corporation para maging proyekto ito na pinondohan naman ng Danish government sa ilalim ng Danish International Agency (DANIDA) pamamagitan ng isang interest free loan at ng World Bank,” Ramel said.

Ramel cited a Philippine Star article available online dated, October 13, 2005 under the headline: Giant windmills energize Ilocos Norte” with Marcos Jr. quoted as saying: “Frankly, if there’s money to be made the province would have involved itself.”

“Malinaw naman ang sinabi mo. Tingin ko ang sinabing ninyong iyan mismo, ay malinaw na hindi ninyo ito proyekto o ng Ilocos Norte noong kayo ay gobernadora. Katunayan, ang tanging malalaking proyekto na naipatayo ninyo noong kayo ay gobernador ay halos walang pakinabang sa inyong mga nasasakupan: Ang Dap-Ayan Center at ang Plaza del Norte Hotel and Convention Center,” Ramel said.

“Malayong-malayo ang inyong 9 na taong panunungkulan bilang gobernador sa halos 3 taon lamang na panunungkulan ni Mayor Isko at nagawa niya ito sa Maynila sa ilalim pa ng krisis ng pandemya. Kung sa siyam na taon ay halos wala kayong mapakitang accomplishments ng pamamahala ng isang probinsya, paano pa ang buong bansa?,” Ramel added.

Ramel also raised doubts about Marcos Jr’s. educational background, citing a news article from Bloomberg news article that came out last year which revealed that he did not complete his degree but was awarded a special diploma in Social Studies in 1978.

“Galing mismo sa isang email ng Oxford University. Bakit po kailangang paulit-ulit na ipilit na kayo po ay nagtapos ng college degree pero ito ay malayo naman pala sa katotohanan?” Ramel said.

Ramel explained that if Marcos cannot explain all the issues being thrown at him and continues to evade it, what will happen to the country and the people if unfortunately he becomes president?

“Ang aming hamon kay Marcos Jr. ay bayaran ang naturang obligasyon ayon sa hatol ng Korte Suprema, sagutin ang ilang mga katanungan na paulit-ulit na iniiwasang harapin mismo ng kandidatong ito sa mga debate kung totoong ang layunin niya ay pagkakaisa. Nakakatakot isipin na ngayong hindi pa siya pangulo ay binabalewala na niya ang batas, ang pagharap at pagsagot sa mga sinasabing kasinungalingan niya. Paano na kung maihalal siya? Ramel said.

Meanwhile, Ramel cited an article from former Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio which revealed that the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has to give written demands on the Marcos heirs to pay his tax liabilities every five years.

The last time the BIR sent a demand letter to the Marcoses, according to him, was in 2017. The  exact month when the demand letter was sent remains unknown, said Team Isko campaign strategist Lito Banayo.

This prompted Ramel to call on the BIR to make sure that they issue a notice to the administrator of the Marcos estate, which happens to be Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

“Let me remind the BIR baka hindi nyo pa to ginagawa at otherwise mafo-forfeit eto at magiging uncollectable. So, let me remind our BIR under the Duterte administration kailangan na naman gumawa ng demand sa P200 million na eto,” Ramel pointed out.

“As opined by Justice Carpio, na mape-prescribe sya kung hindi mag-iissue ng demand letter every 5 years ang BIR. So, kung ginagawa naman ng mga nakakaraang administrasyon, so hindi naglalapse.  So, ang panawagan nga natin, natapos na yung nakalipas na administrasyon, nagbigay na ng letter, eh ngayon matatapos ang isang administrasyon, baka matapos ang limang taon, mapeprescribe nga po ito,” he said.

Asked what concrete steps the ‘Team Isko’ camp can do to make the Marcos held accountable for the estate tax debt they still have to pay, Ramel said for now there is none.

“Sa ngayon, wala tayong magagawa. Tayo ay simpleng mamamayan lang. Even Mayor Isko cannot do anything about it. But, katulad ng nabanggit nya, ‘pag sya ay naging Pangulo, he will make a demand for the BIR, para makolekta ito. Siguraduhin na mapunta at maging ayuda para sa ating mamamayan,” he said.

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TAGS: Aksyon Demokratiko, Estate Tax Debts, Isko Moreno, Marcos

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