MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Bong Revilla has defended congressman and world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, who is facing a tax case from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Revilla acknowledged the need for the BIR to do its job but lashed out at the government agency for supposedly shaming Pacquiao in public and making a “circus” of its investigation.
He reminded the public of Pacquiao’s contributions to the nation, questioning why the BIR had to publicize the criminal charges against the athlete.
“This is not the way to treat someone who we all consider as a contemporary hero that has brought great honor and pride to the country. Every time Manny steps into the ring, he carries on his shoulders the name and honor of the nation,” said Revilla. “Every punch he delivers and takes is not for himself alone but also for the Filipino people.”
He also compared the BIR to credit card collection agents who use scare tactics, humiliate and ruin a person’s name, only to discover in the end that they may be wrong.
“Paano pag nagkaganun, sorry na lang?… eh nakasira na sila ng pangalan, dangal, at pagkatao? (And what happens then? Then you just let it go? But they have already ruined the person’s reputation),” he said.
The BIR alleges discrepancies in Pacquiao’s 2010 earnings. If found guilty of tax evasion, he can face up to 2 years in prison.
Pacquiao for his part, maintains the notices sent by the BIR were not directly delivered to him and that he was not given the right to due process to comply with the BIR’s requests.
Pacquiao, who is Forbes Magazine’s 24th wealthiest athlete in the world, is considering filing charges against the BIR officials responsible, claiming he was harassed. – Rappler.com