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Presidential frontrunner Isko Moreno vows to collect the billions of Marcos estate tax debt and use it as 'ayuda' for millions of Filipinos. Beside him is labor leader Laurencio whose groups with thousands of leaders nationwide pledged to support Moreno. (TSJ)

Mayor Isko to use P203-B Marcos Estate Tax Debts As Ayuda for Millions Of Pandemic-hit Pinoys

AKSYON Demokratiko standard bearer Isko Moreno on Monday vowed to run after the estimated P200 billion in estate tax debts incurred by the Marcos family and utilize it in aiding the millions of Filipinos gravely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Meron akong gagawing ayuda. I’ll make sure that I will implement the decision of the Supreme Court, GR 120880, na may isang pamilya na pinagbabayad ng estate tax. As we speak, it’s about P200 billion already,” Moreno told reporters and members of organized labor and transport workers’ groups at the headquarters of the Isko Moreno Domagoso for President in Intramuros, Manila.

“If and if ako’y maging presidente, yung pera na yon na buwis ha, hindi po ito regular na buwis, estate tax, ngayon po P200 billion na ang halaga. E kung ipamigay ko rin na ayuda. Tutal pera niyo naman yon e,” said Moreno to cheers from all those present.

Moreno did not once mention the Marcoses, but GR 120880 refers to a June 1997 SC ruling ordering the Marcoses to pay the P23.29 billion estate tax owed by the Marcoses from 1982 to 1986, as computed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Since then, the Marcos family contested the BIR’s deficiency assessment, causing the amount to reach P203.8 billion due to the penalties that have accumulated in the decades that the Marcos heirs failed to pay the debt.

“Kailangang magbayad sila sa buwis,” asserted Moreno.

Moreno said he actually planned to mention his promise to run after the P200-billion debt on Sunday during CNN Philippines’ Presidential Debate but failed to do so due to lack of opportunity.

It could be noted that the son and namesake of the late dictator, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was himself convicted of tax evasion.

Marcos Jr. was convicted in 1995 for failure to file mandatory income tax returns and pay income tax from 1982 to 1985. His tax evasion conviction and his family’s huge debt were cited in the petitions to cancel his certificate of candidacy for president.

On Nov. 9, 2018, the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court convicted Imelda Marcos, widow Ferdinand Marcos Sr., of seven counts of graft for creating private foundations in Switzerland when she was a government official that allowed her family to funnel illegally amassed government funds during the martial law period.

The former first lady — and, at the time, a district representative of Ilocos Norte — was sentenced to imprisonment of six years and one month to 11 years for each count of graft, which is equivalent to a minimum of 42 years in prison. The case is now on appeal and the Marcos matriarch has not spent a night in jail.

Meanwhile, Moreno vowed to implement the law fairly and equally to whoever is found guilty. “There is a decision they should pay, those people should pay, whoever they are. Kung siya ay collectibles na, dapat kolektahin,” he said in a subsequent interview.

“Sabi ko nga, there is certainty and predictability in our administration. Sabi ko rin na walang mahirap, walang middle class, walang mayaman. Kung nakakatikim ng kulungan yung aksidenteng makakuha ng anim na kilong mangga, that goes to anybody who will be found guilty of such crime. Yun lang ang importante,” said Moreno.

Promoting equality is one of the priorities spelled out under Moreno’s 10-point Bilis Kilos Economic Agenda which will be his blueprint to accelerate human and economic growth once elected president.

In the meantime, the Aksyon Demokratiko presidential candidate urged the people to choose wisely in the upcoming elections lest they vote the wrong candidate into office.

“Wala tayong paghuhusga, karapatan yan ng bawat tao. gusto ko lang maliwanag sa inyong isipan na huwag kayong magkakamali. It doesn’t have to be me. Basta huwag kayong pipili ng lider na ngayon pa lang, hindi niyo na mapagkatiwalaan, hindi niyo na maaasahan, hindi niyo na maliwanagan kung ano ang layunin. Hindi ito pagalingan ng Ingles, hindi ito pagalingan ng salita, hindi ito pamanahan, kundi sino talaga yung pwede nating sandalan,” he said.

“I am no angel. Ako po hindi ako perpekto. Pero sinisiguro ko po sa inyo, hindi ko kayo inagrabyado kahit minsan. At wala akong pami-pamilya na nagkakamkam ng anu-ano. Pero pag hindi tayo ang nanalo at iyon ang nanalo, malamang burado na yung utang na yon. Kayo na ang mag-isip. Ako kasi importante lang na alam niyo,” said Moreno.


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