Get it over and done with, champ


Let’s get one thing straight. We still admire Manny Pacquiao, who remains the pride of the Philippines. We know him to be a good man whose heart is in the right place, as well as being one of the greatest professional boxers of all time.

That’s saying a lot. No wonder millions of our countrymen consider him a true Filipino hero.

We must, however, take issue with how he has handled his problems with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

A mere two days after his masterful conquest of Mexican-American Brandon Rios, the public learned that the BIR was dunning him for more than P2 billion in back taxes. The timing seemed pretty awful on the part of the taxman, but it turned out that Pacquiao and/or his lawyers and accountants had failed to file the proper documents despite having been given more than enough time to correct their error.

That’s all it is. No one is saying that Pacman is a big time tax evader. Only that he had been remiss in filing the proper forms in the past.

What we find so disturbing about this is that the public is well aware that Pacquiao is surrounded by so many useless “employees,” who are little more than dead weight. It would now seem that even at the highest levels—his close-in financial and legal advisers—he is surrounded by incompetence.

Nobody but nobody wants to see him ending up in the poorhouse after his fighting days are over.

BIR chief Kim Henares is right when she says that the burden of proof to show that he has been paying all his taxes lies with Pacquiao. The biggest issue is that the bulk of his earnings have been in the U.S., where the taxes on his earnings are automatically deducted.

Henares points out that she is not an employee of the prizefighter-cum–congressman. She adds that the BIR will be satisfied if and when Pacquiao shows the original documents showing that he has, indeed, paid his taxes in the United States.

If there is still a shortfall, this can be settled amicably, either through negotiated settlement or deferred payment. Another possibility is for him to avail of tax amnesty.

Plain and simply, there is a problem where there should be none.

Our best, albeit unsolicited, advice is for Manny Pacquiao to bite the bullet and clear his tax records immediately. If he has any arrears, these should be settled as soon as possible.

Pacman has shown in the past that he is more than willing to pay his taxes to the government of the country he loves without question. It has been pointed out that there were years when he was among the country’s top taxpayers, paying more than even the country’s taipans and business titans.

His supposed arrears should not be turned into a political issue. It’s not. It’s an economic issue.

What he should do now is to seek professional advice from any of the country’s big accounting firms like SGV. It may yet turn out that the supposed tax problem of Pacquiao is no problem at all, and all the brouhaha surrounding it is much ado about nothing.


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  1. But Kim Henares is playing one side of a coin. If she truly admire her profession, then she must chase those loan sharks after the casinos, those who are in the list of multi-millionaires and there a lot them to name. That is what a public wants to know…are they truly exempted? They are just making a public affairs in chasing one guy, let us not consider Manny as the only person living in the Phils. Where is the diplomacy in their profession? People will think of them naive. After all this is not a news.

  2. His biggest mistake is hiring 3rd rated accountants & bookkeepers, He’s a multi-millionaire who can’t manage his affairs. He’s surrounded by a lot of freeloaders, dead beats & bible thumping followers. Someone must think in this group.

    • It had nothing to do with the accountants. It has everything to do with politics. The BIR was given the documents. However, according to Kim Henares, she considers those documents scrap since it could be falsified. That being the case, why would she ask certificated documents from the same person that she does not trust. It can be another scrap certificated form. It is now her burden to verify the documents since she would not take them at face value which is an easy task for her to do. Manny as a foreign national does not really pay taxes in the US, Employers are mandated to with hold the taxes. Kim stated that documents from Top Rank and HBO are bogus. In addition, it seems prior to the action taken by BIR, Pacquiao was being asked to move to another political party. Then bank accounts were frozen. Manny probably is the only politician that do not steal from the government. They have not frozen the assets of those that blindly steal from the government. Kindly explain why that is the case before blaming the accountants.