PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday told World boxing champion and Saranggani Rep. Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao to show remorse if he is indeed proven guilty on the tax case hurled against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Mr. Aquino issued the advise when he was asked during the Bulong Pulungan news forum whether his administration would grant tax amnesty to Pacquiao if he will be proven guilty on his tax case.
“At the end of the day, I think the lesson has to be that if you are guilty of a particular crime, you have to exhibit a degree of remorse,” he said.
In granting tax amnesty to the boxing icon, Aquino clarified that this is not being given to an individual but to a certain group of individuals.
Besides, the Chief executive said Congress has to approve the proposal for tax amnesty.
He said if Pacquiao believes he has complied with all the necessary rules and all the necessary laws, then he should present all the evidence to back his case.
“But at this point of time, he says that he has complied with all the requirements so I think this is crossing the bridge that is too far away,” Mr. Aquino added.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is questioning the decrease in Pacquiao’s payments in his income taxes in 2009.
BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said the BIR has been waiting for two years for Pacquiao to provide them with a copy of his tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Henares said since the BIR filed the complaint against Pacquiao, the latter did not formally communicate with their office.
“All communication is through the media. We don’t have official communication from them. We communicate through the press,” she told The Manila Times.
President Aquino earlier advised Pacquiao to stop bringing his his P2.2-billion tax case before the media and instead settle it before the BIR.
She likewise dismissed allegations that the tax case against Pacquiao, who is allied with the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay is nothing but purely political harassment.
“This is not a political harassment. I am not a politician, this is just part of our job,” she added.
Even Mr. Aquino also denied that his administration was harassing Pacquiao through the tax case hurled against him by the BIR. RITCHIE A. HORARIO