Even if a sister of presidential candidate and former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. believes otherwise, Aksyon Demokratiko presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso said Friday that his group’s campaign for the Marcos family to pay their P203-billion estate tax has nothing to do with politics.
Domagoso’s comments came after Sen. Imee Marcos, Marcos Jr.’s sister, stated that their family’s tax issue had reappeared decades later due to “defamation from rotten politics.”
“It has nothing to do with politics. This is just our obligation,” Domagoso stated this to media on the side of his visit here.
“Obligasyon ng bawat mamamayan yun, lalo na kung ikaw ay tatakbo sa public office,” (“It is the obligation of every citizen, especially if you are running for public office,”) Damagoso stated.
The problem comes from a 1997 Supreme Court judgement that ordered the Marcos family to pay P23 billion in estate taxes, but the figure has grown to P203 billion after the former Philippines’ first family refused to pay their dues for decades.
One of Marcos’ lawyers earlier admitted that they have to pay P23 billion even if they are still contesting the P180-billion worth of penalties and surcharges, Damagoso stated.
“Kung talagang mabuti kang tao, babayaran mo yung buwis,” (“If you’re a really good person, you’ll pay the tax,”) Damagoso said.
“Sila na yung may sabi, umamin na naman sila. Buti hindi ako fake news.” (“They’re the ones who said it, they’ll admit it again. It’s good I’m not fake news.”)
Sen. Marcos questioned the urgency of the tax problem, but Domagoso pointed out that the family of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. had over three decades to resolve it.
“It is already there for [about] 30 years, ayaw lang nila sundin ang batas (they just don’t want to follow the law), the Mayor Isko said.
“Siguro sikat sila, pinagpala silang pamilya, siguro makapangyarihan silang pamilya kaya sa iyo ‘yung batas applicable, sa kanila hindi applicable,” (“Maybe they are famous, they are blessed families, maybe they are powerful families so the law is applicable to you, not applicable to them,”) he stated.
Domagoso has been campaigning for the use of the Marcos estate tax to pay the national government’s assistance package for public utility drivers and farmers in the Philippines who are being impacted by increased oil costs.
Senator Marcos stated that her family will not abandon its obligation.
“Medyo hilo na kami sa tax-tax issue na ‘yan pero ang masasabi ko, kung may utang sa gobyerno, kailangan bayaran,” (We are a bit dizzy with that tax-tax issue, but all I can say is if there is a debt to the government, that should be paid) Imee said.
“Kami sa pamilya namin, lahat ng kaso namin, hinarap namin. Hinaharap pa rin dahil marami pa no at itong issue na estate tax, matagal na to eh.” (Our family faced all the cases against us. We are still facing these because there are a lot and this issue on estate tax has been prolonged)
The senator said that her family was unable to pay their back taxes because the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) had yet to provide them with “the whole document to address it once and for all.”
The BIR, on the other hand, stated that the agency had sent a formal demand to the Marcos family to clear their tax due.