Marcos estate tax amount is doubtful, says justice chief

·2 min read
Justice chief Boying Remulla, who doubts the amount of the estate tax of the Marcoses. holds a document in news confrence in Cavite, Philippines.
FILE PHOTO: Justice Secretary Jose Crispin "Boying" Remulla addresses the media a news conference on Feb. 3, 2017 in General Trias, Cavite, Philippines. Remulla expressed his doubts on the amount of the Marcoses estate tax. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Department of Justice Secretary Jose Crispin "Boying" Remulla remarked that he’s doubtful about the total amount of the estate taxes of the Marcoses, saying that it was “improbable” that it would amount that high and that the way it was computed was “biased.”

In a speech before a gathering of Rotary Club of Manila members, he said that there may be something wrong with how the estate tax was computed.

“[I]f you look at the figures, they seem improbable. Figures were computed based on a biased computation. I don’t think it’s proper for us to compute the figures the way they were computed,” Remulla said.

Remulla, however, did not elaborate on any specific figure to support his claims, and even went further to say that the Marcoses shouldn’t have been charged taxes on assets that the government have already sequestered.

“Assets that were never passed on to the heirs were being taxed a charge of estate tax. So from the very beginning, I think the premises were ridiculous. Hopefully … I can be proven wrong by what I am saying but that is what I surmise,” Remulla said.

“You pay taxes on something that you get not something you do not get. So you should be charged for something that you got but not what do do not get,” Remulla further pointed out.

In 1997, the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) found that the Marcos estate was liable for a total of P23 billion estate tax, based on a 1991 Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) assessment that they failed to file estate tax returns and payments since the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.’s death in 1989.

The SC also noted that its decision had long become “final and unappealable” because of the Marcoses’ failure to appeal the 1991 BIR assessment within 30 days.

“The subject tax assessments having become final, executory and enforceable, the same can no longer be contested by any means of a disguised protest,” the SC said.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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