PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday found another convenient venue to lash at his most favorite punching bag — former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo.
During the 111th anniversary of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Quezon City, Aquino belittled Arroyo’s highest recorded tax collection of P778.6 billion, boasting that under his watch, the amount will double.
“Sa Daang Matuwid, dahil sa mas masigasig at tapat na pagkolekta ng buwis, sa di hamak na mas maikling panahon, napantayan natin, nalampasan, at ngayon ay madodoble pa ang kanilang nakolekta (With good governance, in a short period of time, we managed to outdo their performance and are about to double their tax collection),” the president said.
The BIR is poised to collect P1.5 trillion by the end of 2015, according to Aquino. He noted that the bureau passed the trillion mark in 2012 when it collected P1.06 trillion.
Last year, the BIR collection stood at P1.3 trillion, up by 9.64 percent from P1.2 trillion in 2013.
“Ngayong taon, ang sabi sa atin, puwedeng malikom o malapit nang malikom ang P1.5 trillion, na isa na namang record high kapag nagkataon. Ihambing ninyo ang mga numerong ito sa pinakamataas na naabot ng sinundan natin: P778.6 billion (This year, I was told, we can collect or are about to collect P1.5 trillion, another record high. Compare this with the highest collection under the past administration: P778.6 billion),” the President further stressed.
In another reference to Mrs. Arroyo, who is under hospital arrest for various offenses, Aquino claimed that the past administration was ruled by “lies and cheats.”
“Noong nakaraang Lunes, iniulat ko kung paano natin binago ang dinatnang kalakaran ng kasinungalingan, pandaraya, at pagnanakaw sa pamahalaan. Ito po ang nagbunsod ng pagbangon at muling pagsigla ng ating bansa (Last Monday, I reported how we were able to change the system of lies, cheating and thievery. This was the key to the nation’s growth),” he noted.
In the same gathering, Aquino extolled BIR Commissioner Kim Henares for steering the agency to the straight path. He added that the “house cleaning” undertaken by the agency and the campaign against tax cheats proved effective.
He said that upon the orders of Henares, 107 establishments were closed in 2014 while 380 tax evasion charges have been filed.
Meanwhile, the Finance department filed charges against 380 of its personnel who were allegedly inept and corrupt.