Photo by Reuters

Just after winning in his match against boxer Brandon Rios, Manny Pacquiao is now bracing for his latest fight. This time, it's a bout outside the boxing ring.

In an interview with ANC's Topstory, Pacquiao said the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has issued a warrant of garnishment to the banks, freezing all his bank deposits over his P2.2 billion tax evasion case.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) is going after the Sarangani Representative for back taxes from 2008 and 2009.

During the period, Pacquiao reportedly earned tens of millions of dollars in five fights against the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, David Diaz, Oscar dela Hoya, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto. All of the fights were held in Las Vegas, Nevada in US.

Pacquiao’s lawyers argue that remittances to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) were not included in his tax returns in the Philippines because a tax treaty between the two countries stipulates that income tax paid by Filipinos in the US is creditable against income tax liabilities here.

"Ayaw tanggapin BIR yung binibigay kong copy ng tax na binayaran ko sa US. Gusto nila original IRS copy, hindi naman nagbibigay ang IRS ng nun,” he said. 

Pacquiao’s lawyers have already filed an appeal on the warrant of garnishment issued by the BIR on his assets. The boxing champ remains confident his case can still be resolved. “Wala naman akong tinatago,” he said in a press conference.

He, however, was not able to hide his disappointment over the decision especially now that he intends to help those affected by super typhoon and the magnitude 7.2 quake in the Visayas region.

“Matagal ko nang gustong tumulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo at lindol. Pero ako po ay hinabla ng BIR ng P2.2 billion tax case na walang kabase-base at ang aking mga pera sa bangko ay ginarnish ng BIR. Hindi ako makapag-withdraw ni isang singkong sentimo sa sarili ko pong pera, hindi ko magamit para man lang makatulong. Ang pera kong ginarnish ng BIR ay hindi po nakaw at hindi po [Priority Development Assistance Fund] o [Disbursement Acceleration Program], ito po ay galing sa lahat ng suntok, bugbog, pawis at dugo na tiniis ko sa boxing,” Pacquiao said.

Despite his tax case, the congressman said he will still fulfill his promise to personally deliver aid to areas devastated by Yolanda, even if he has to borrow money to pay for relief goods.

"Mangungutang uli ako kasi siyempre nagpa-promise ako na pupunta ako sa Tacloban para tumulong sa kanila, e ano gagawin ko? Hindi matutuloy? Masisira ako sa tao," he said.

Pacquiao said he earlier borrowed money to help at least 10,000 families in Yolanda-hit areas. His accounts had already been garnished when the super typhoon ravaged parts of the Visayas, he said.


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