World boxing champion and Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao of Sarangani province is the richest congressman with a P1.35 billion net worth, but that amount won’t be enough to cover his alleged liabilities to the Philippine government.
Pacquiao’s tax lawyer Tranquil Salvador made the disclosure in connection with the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s move in November 2013 freezing Pacquiao’s assets because of the boxing legend’s alleged failure to pay at least P2.2 billion of tax dues in years 2008 and 2009, both to the United States’ Internal Revenue Service and the BIR.
Pacquiao scored a relief when the Court of Tax Appeals ruled in April this year ordering BIR to lift the garnishment or freezing of Pacquiao’s assets, provided that Pacquiao pay a P3.9-billion cash bond or P4.7-billion surety bond to the BIR.
“That is why we asked the court to reduce the bond, if not dispense [with]it. The amount is too huge. His net worth won’t be enough. After all, this [tax liability]is still in dispute, that is why we submitted such motions to the court [of Tax Appeals],” Salvador said.
Pacquiao, the only boxer in the world to win eight titles in eight different weight classes, posted a P1.35-billion net worth based on his 2013 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.
Of the P1.35 billion, P1.1 billion accounted for his real property, P763.2 million for personal property and P527 million constituted his liabilities. Pacquiao actually got “poorer” in 2013 by a few millions since he posted a P1.7-billion net worth in 2012.
“We asked the court for a reduced bond because it is too big. The alternative is that we asked the court if the bond [could]be written off because our position has been this [tax liability of Pacquiao]has already been paid in the United States. We have two positions and it is up for the CTA to decide which [it would favor],” argued Salvador, a spokesman for impeached Chief Justice Renato Corona during the latter’s impeachment trial in the Senate.
“The BIR wants certified true copies [of Pacquiao’s tax documents]and we have [those]. We will present [them]in the hearing. The bond is only for security on the part of the government should CTA make a mistake in its decision [to lift the garnishment order],” he said.
Salvador, however, declined to comment on whether Pacquiao remains financially sound.
“That is beyond my position to answer because I am not his accountant. I would not know where and how he spends his money,” he pointed out.