The Palace on Thursday vowed to go after Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators in the country which failed to pay at least P50 billion in taxes last year.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after it was reported that the government only collected P5 billion of the P50 billion tax revenue expected to be generated from POGOs.
“We’ll run after them. President Duterte is very clear on that. No sacred cows in this government. You owe the government? We’ll run after you,” he said.
“The way he did in the Philippine Airlines, Mighty Cigarette Corp. and now the water concessionaires. The President is not favoring anybody. If you transgressed the law, then you can’t get away with it,” he added.
On Wednesday, Senator Risa Hontiveros presented to the media a Taiwanese worker who was rescued from trafficking in POGOs, alleging that it was protected and backed by a certain Michael Yang.
It was not clear if the Taiwanese worker was referring to the Yang who once served as President Rodrigo Duterte’s economic adviser.
Panelo said the Taiwanese worker should file a complaint against the person she was referring to.
In November last year, Duterte warned POGOs to settle their tax liabilities in just three days or he would turn them into “pugo,” a pun on the Filipino word for “quail” in English.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue started its crackdown on POGOs on Sept. 25 last year, when it shut down an operator for non-payment of taxes.