World boxing icon and Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao of Sarangani province had very little time to enjoy his resounding victory over Brandon Rios, whom he drubbed in Macau on Sunday.
Shortly after his return to the Philippines on Monday, Pacquiao learned of the devastating news that his bank deposits had been frozen.
An angry Pacquiao threw jabs at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) on Tuesday for a warrant of garnishment to the banks that essentially froze his bank deposits. The BIR filed a complaint against the lawmaker last year allegedly because of his refusal to submit tax documents.
In a press conference held in his hometown General Santos City, Pacquiao said that the BIR has no basis in garnishing his P2.2-billion worth of assets because he has declared his right income and paid the corresponding proper taxes.
He lamented that because he no longer has access to his bank deposits, he had to borrow money so that he could send help to the typhoon victims in Central Visayas.
“Ako po ay hinabla ng BIR ng P2.2-billion tax case na walang basehan. Ang aking pera sa bangko ay ginarnish ng BIR. Hindi ako makapag-withdraw ni isang singkong sentimo sa sarili ko pong pera at hindi ko ito magamit para man lang makatulong [sa mga sinalanta ng bagyo][BIR leveled charges against me without basis, and I can’t withdraw a single cent from my money which I could use to help the typhoon victims],” Pacquiao said.
“Ang pera kong ginarnish ng BIR ay hindi po nakaw at hindi po PDAF o DAP, ito po ay galing sa lahat ng suntok, bugbog, pawis at dugo na tiniis ko sa boxing [My money garnished by the BIR is not stolen. I earned it from the punches, perspiration and blood that I have endured in boxing],” he told reporters.
Pacquiao scored a masterful unanimous decision win over Rios on Sunday in Macau for the World Boxing Organization International Welterweight Division title—his first victory in two years and after losing to Timothy Bradley and Juan Manuel Marquez.
A day after his comeback win, Pacquiao rushed to General Santos City, saying that he needed to prepare for his visit to Tacloban City.
Pacquiao and his team planned a relief mission to Tacloban this week to provide assistance personally to the victims.
He had said that he wanted to visit Tacloban right after the typhoon hit but he was prevented by his advisers and trainers because he was at that time in the thick of his training for the fight with Rios.
“At last, now I can go to the affected areas after my fight. I really wanted to help,” he said on Sunday.
The team of Pacquiao is composed of Top Rank chief Bob Arum, trainers Freddie Roach and Buboy Fernandez, Canadian adviser Michael Koncz, Pacquiao’s wife Sarangani Vice Gov. Jinkee, mother Dionisia, and brothers Roel and Bobby.
A reliable source from the Pacquiao camp who requested anonymity said the Sarangani congressman will most likely use his helicopter to transfer relief goods if he makes good his plan to visit Tacloban.