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Pambansang Kamao Manny Pacquiao, who also serves as Sarangani's congressman, said that he is thinking of filing charges against the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) officials responsible for his tax charge, including Region XII BIR director, Rozil Lozares, Rappler.com reports. Lozares previously said there were alleged discrepancies in Pac-Man's earnings in 2010.
"Nananawagan ako kay P-Noy na yung mag ganyang mga tao, especially yung director, dapat tanggalin na sa serbsiyo (I'm calling on P-Noy to remove people like this from service, especially the regional director)," he is quoted as saying. "Hindi nila alam kung anong ginagawa nila. Nakakasira yan sa reputation sa tamang daan. Binabaluktot nung regional director ang tamang daan. (They don't know what they're doing. They're destroying the image of your 'straight path' campaign. The regional director is making the right path crooked.)"
Pacquiao's camp claimed the BIR railroaded the complaint against him and have now tarnished his name. New Era University dean Abraham Espejo, one of Paquiao's legal counsels, said they wanted the case against him to be rendered null and void. Espejo said the BIR gave the letter of authority and subpoena to someone Pacquiao didn't know. They also served the documents in General Santos when Pacquiao's office was in Batasan.
Espejo said it was up to Pacquiao to decide who to file charges against and when, but they were considering filing for violation of Republic Act 3019, Section 3E, which disallows "any undue injury to any party, including the Government…through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence."
Meanwhile, BIR chief Kim Henares said the charge they filed against Pacquiao wasn't tax evasion. "This is just a case asking him to present documents," he said. "What our people did is we issued a letter of authority against him, asking him to present some documents because we want to see if there's an explanation for [the discrepancies] or not. What is so difficult about presenting his contracts?"
Pacquiao countered by saying his accountant had tried to submit the documents when asked, but Lozares was nowhere to be found; he has since submitted the documents. He also questioned the BIR's decision to ask him for copies of his fight contracts when he had already paid taxes in the US.
Pacquiao's lawyers added that he has lost international endorsements because of the case and reiterated that the BIR was singling him out.
(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)