President Rodrigo Roa Duterte unveils the Binondo-Intramuros Bridge Project Marker during the inauguration ceremony in Manila on April 5, 2022. With the President are Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Huang Xilian, Public Works and Highways Acting Secretary Roger Mercado, and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Apr 6 (Mabuhay) — Malacañang maintained on Tuesday that President Rodrigo Duterte has done his part in reminding the Bureau of International Revenue (BIR) to ensure that all estate taxes are being properly collected.

In a press statement, acting presidential spokesperson Martin Andanar acknowledged mounting calls for the government to collect the unpaid estate tax of the Marcos family.

“The issue of the Marcos family’s estate tax liabilities has spanned over several administrations,” Andanar said.

He said Duterte already called out the BIR for failing to collect the unpaid estate taxes in a prerecorded public address on March 29.

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in his last Talk to the People Address has already called the attention of the Bureau of Internal Revenue to address this issue,” Andanar added.

During a Palace press briefing on March 30, Andanar said Duterte’s statement was a reminder for the BIR, noting that the agency should go after all individuals not paying their taxes.

“Hindi lang sa kung sinong politiko o personalidad. Dapat sa lahat ng personalidad na hindi nagbabayad ay dapat habulin ng BIR sapagkat kailangan ng karagdagang pondo ng ating national government (Not just certain politicians or personality. The BIR should go after any person who is not paying their taxes because the national government needs the additional fund),” Andanar said.

In December 2021, the BIR sent a demand letter to the Marcoses to pay their estate tax which grew to PHP203 billion after the party of presidential candidate Manila Mayor Isko Moreno called for its urgent settlement.

The Department of Finance said the BIR continued to demand that the Marcos family settle their estate tax debt on March 30.

Senator Aquilino Pimental III has pushed for a Senate probe into the BIR’s supposed failure to collect the estate tax liability of the Marcoses.

He said the government could use the money to fund subsidies to the poor amid the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic and surging global oil prices.

In 1997, the Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the Court of Appeals on the Marcos family’s estate tax liability as “final and executory”.

The camp of presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has insisted that the Marcos family’s estate tax remains unsettled since the properties linked to the case are still under litigation. (MNS)

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