Questions timing of raising the issue, claims amount still unresolved
Senator Imee Marcos on Friday said tirades against her brother, presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. over the alleged failure of their family to pay P203 billion in estate taxes was merely part of a “demolition job.”
The senator questioned the timing of the emergence of the issue after the lapse of many years.
“Why did it suddenly come out? Indeed, they were just trying to destroy (Bongbong). This is rotten politics,” Senator Marcos said.
She said the ploy would not work because people had grown tired of “repeatedly maligning us.”
The senator also said the latest attack against her brother, the frontrunner in all presidential surveys, would no longer sway people’s support for him.
She acknowledged that there was a tax assessment in 1997, but many things have happened since then.
“Some assessed and taxed properties were given to the so-called cronies. They do not belong to us in the first place — these properties that were returned to the owners,” she said.
The senator said others were also sold by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“We are asking how much was sold—that will go against the tax payment,” she said.
“So we were asking the PCGG and BIR a long time ago, several decades ago, what’s really the amount? Different agencies have been giving different amounts,” she said.
She also said her mother Imelda and her lawyers have yet to receive a demand letter for the unpaid estate tax, which court records showed was initially set at P23 billion but had reportedly ballooned to P203 billion over the decades.
Earlier, the BIR said it had sent a demand letter to the Marcoses regarding their tax liabilities amounting to P203.819 billion last year.
The Department of Finance said the BIR continues to demand the Marcos family to settle their estate tax debt.
An entry of judgment from the Supreme Court showed that the assessment of multi-billion estate taxes set at P23 billion already became final and executory in 1999.
Senator Marcos said the estate tax case would continue regardless of who wins the elections as the case will remain in court. She said her family would not move to block the case.
Senator Marcos also said many things have happened during the last 36 years that have muddled the issue.
“We are sort of dizzy on these taxes,” she said.
Saying that all debts to the government should be settled, Senator Marcos said their family has faced all the charges filed against them.
Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, the spokesperson for Marcos Jr, has repeatedly said that the ownership of the properties which are subject of the estate tax had yet to be settled. Rodriguez also said the issue was “all politics.”
George Briones, general counsel of Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, said the Supreme Court ruled with finality on the P23 billion in estate tax owed by the Marcoses, and not the remainder of the P203 billion which may still be subject to reconciliation.
Marcos Jr. is running for president under the PFP.
“What is final is the P23 billion in assessment,” Briones said in an interview with CNN Philippines.
“What I am saying is the figure of P203 billion is not final because that is still subject to reconciliation,” he added.