THERE is no serious rift between Sarangani Rep. and ring icon Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Commissioner Kim Henares and talks about their tax “bout” are just “in the spirit of fun,” Malacañang deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said on Monday.
“We know how we can find humor in every situation and perhaps, you know, this is an example of that,” Valte replied when asked if Henares is indeed waiting for the boxing champion to come home to exact taxes from his recent winnings.
The lawmaker is expected to take home at least $20 million from his rematch with Timothy Bradley.
Today, April 15, is the deadline for the filing of taxpayers’ income tax returns.
According to Valte, Pacquiao or Pacman has nothing to worry about because the BIR and his camp are working together to address his tax concerns.
The new welterweight division champion is facing a string of tax cases in the Philippines over his alleged non-payment of tax dues from 2008 to 2009.
“As far as I know from Commissioner Henares, they have been working with Congressman Pacquiao on his liabilities from 2008 or in 2009. So, perhaps it was just a reminder,” Valte explained.
She defended Henares from criticisms that the BIR chief was a “spoiler” of Pacquiao’s latest victory over a tough opponent.
“I don’t think that she meant to be a spoiler [of]his victory,” the Palace official said.
Valte added that the BIR does not mean to be “hard” on Pacquiao and that Henares’ statement should not be taken to mean that collecting taxes from the lawmaker is more important than the honor he brought the country.
“What Commissioner Henares said earlier was that they are talking with the camp of Pacman to look for other remedies to his liabilities. We don’t mean to make it hard for Congressman Pacquiao,” she pointed out.