The Supreme Court (SC) has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) in favor of Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee in connection with their alleged tax deficiency of over P2.2 billion plus surcharge and interest for 2008 and 2009.
Acting on a petition from the Pacquiaos, the High Court resolved to issue the TRO against the April 22, 2014 and the July 11, 2014 resolutions of the Court of Tax Appeals in CTA Case No. 8683 that required the petitioners to either deposit a cash bond in the amount of P3,298,514,894.35 or to post a surety bond in the amount of P4,947,772,341.53 as a condition for suspension of collection of deficiency income taxes and value-added tax against the petitioners for 2008 and 2009.
In the meantime, it enjoined the tax court to proceed with the case with deliberate dispatch.
The SC also enjoined Kim Santos-Henares, Bureau of International Revenue (BIR) commissioner, her agents, representatives or persons acting in her place and stead from issuing, executing, enforcing, implementing or otherwise giving effect to any warrant of distraint and/or levy, warrant of garnishment and notice of tax lien, and from attempting to collect any tax on the basis of the deficiency income tax and VAT assessments against petitioners, as well as any increments.
It also required the BIR and the CTA to lodge their comment but not to file a motion to dismiss within 10 days from notice.
In a 75-page petition for certiorari, the spouses asked the SC to issue a TRO, which would halt the BIR from collecting from them the total tax deficiency amounting to more than P3 billion.
The Pacquiaos said the tax court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in setting the bond amounts and requiring them to post the same within 30 days from receipt of resolution.
They told the High Court that the surety bond amounting to more than P4 billion was too high and must be lowered.
“Effectively an impossible condition given that their undisputed net worth is only Pl,185,984,697,” the petition said.