OUTGOING President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd is right. His sister Kris deserves free rides in a government helicopters for being one of the Philippines’ biggest top payers. As a matter of fact, she was even No. 1 in 2011 when she paid the Bureau of Internal Revenue P49.872 million.
To the BIR, the presidential sister, who is among the most-in-demand product endorsers, is Kristina Bernadette Cojuangco Aquino. In the entertainment world, she is simply Kris Aquino, because her full name may be too long for her fans to pronounce and remember.
Kris’ brother president must have either made a computation of her tax payments or monitored them over the years that made him conclude a helicopter ride was too little a request for him to deny his younger sister. After all, she was campaigning for his candidate to succeed him. Unfortunately for Kris and her big brother, administration bet Mar Roxas lost to Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte of Davao City.
Aquino has until the end of the month to be kind to her sister and to his political allies. He should not find his generosity with government assets a mortal sin. He is, after all, the President of the Philippines.
Were Kris’ use of government helicopter and her brother’s doleouts to political patrons no big thing for taxpayers? How about Aquino’s P471.5-million “grant” to Hacienda Luisita that was sourced to DAP? He and his sister are among the heirs to the family fortune.
By the way, Hacienda Luisita must be the main reason for Aquino’s planned merger of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), with DBP as the surviving entity. Both banks are owned by the government. The merger, which the incoming Duterte administration is not inclined to push ahead, would have killed LBP, which is the financing arm of the government’s agrarian reform program. Without LBP, who would question the government’s P471.5-million “charity” to Hacienda Luisita?
Back to chopper ride
If the readers of The Manila Times would google for stories about Kris’ chopper rides, they would find Aquino’s defense of her sister. “Noy: Kris, top taxpayer, entitled to presidential helicopter rides” was how The Philippine Star aptly titled the news. “Chopper ride to LP sorties: Kris broke the law—Rappler.” Rappler even had an earlier story “Kris draws flak for flying to LP sortie using presidential chopper.”
In the meantime, forget the criticisms hurled against Kris. Instead, just consider the taxes she had contributed to the public coffers from 2008 to 2014. (Sorry to disappoint our readers. BIR has yet to report the taxes she paid for the year 2015.)
As culled from the BIR website, Kris paid P189.817 million from 2011 to 2014. From 2008 to 2010, her taxes were much less at P70.541 million. All in all, she had enriched the BIR in seven taxable years with total tax payments of P260.358 million.
Annual tax payments
Kris made it to the top of BIR’s list of top 500 taxpayers only in 2011. In 2014, she was No. 6 when she paid P54.531 million; No. 16 in 2013, P40.481 million; No. 6 in 2012, P44.933 million; No. 17 in 2010, P32.31 million; No. 37 in 2009, P12.787 million; and No. 8 in 2008, P25.444 million. (Google her posting for her 2015 tax payment of P61.741 million. Duediligencer prefers to wait for BIR’s official entry on its website.)
Those are the amounts of taxes that Kris paid by year in seven years. How about the taxable incomes on which the BIR based its computations of taxes due from Kris? Duediligencer could only estimate her taxable annual income based on her tax payments.
For her taxable income of P814.508 million from 2008 to 2014, Kris paid total taxes of P260.357 million. Her earnings by year are as follows: P170.595 million in 2014; P126.642 million in 2013; P140,57 million in 2012; P156,019,574 in 2011; P101.078 million in 2010; P40.002 million in 2009; and P79.599 million in 2008. When added, the sum P814.505 million won’t tally with P814.508 million due to rounding of the numbers.)
Given her huge contribution to the government as an individual taxpayer, why shouldn’t Kris, the presidential sister, not be entitled to a free helicopter ride even if she was just campaigning for her brother’s anointed one? She is, after all, the star with perpetual contract with the Lopez-owned ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp. (Note: Duediligencer sourced Kris’ tax payments from the BIR website and GMA7, Philippine Star, etc.)