Marcos Jr. administration

Marcos names Romeo Lumagui Jr. as BIR chief

Bea Cupin
Marcos names Romeo Lumagui Jr. as BIR chief
(1st UPDATE) Tax lawyer Romeo Lumagui Jr., who had served the BIR in various capacities, has close ties to the President and helped in the 2022 campaign. Marcos earlier appointed him as deputy BIR commissioner.

MANILA, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has appointed Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Deputy Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. as the new BIR chief.

Marcos made the appointment just months after he tapped Lumagui as BIR deputy commissioner.

Malacañang announced Lumagui’s appointment on Tuesday, November 15, and took his oath the same day.

Lumagui replaces Lilia Guillermo, a former BIR deputy commissioner herself and former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Assistant Governor, who assumed the post when Marcos began his term. The Palace has yet to say what will happen of Guillermo.

Lumagui, according to his LinkedIn profile, graduated from Ateneo Law School in 2005 and passed the bar in 2006. He also holds a commerce degree from De La Salle University.

He was in two law firms – SyCip Salazar Hernandez & Gatmaitan for nearly a decade and at his own Morales Justiniano Peña & Lumagui Law Offices for a year and a half – before joining the BIR in 2016.

In the BIR, Lumagui served as technical assistant to the commissioner, and tax fraud head for Revenue Region No. 6, Manila, Revenue Region No. 4, Pampanga, and Revenue Region No. 7B, East NCR.

He was also head of task forces created to boost tax collections.

Lumagui has close ties to the President.

He is the husband of fellow lawyer Carmela Esquivas-Lumagui, a trusted aide of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos. Esquivas-Lumagui is a lawyer at Araneta-Marcos’ law firm M & Associates. She was also an associate at MOST Law, the firm Araneta-Marcos was once a part of.

The Lumaguis were part of Marcos’ 2022 campaign – Esquivas-Lumagui as executive assistant to Araneta-Marcos and a proxy campaigner herself. She often accompanied Marcos’ two younger children to campaign across the Philippines.

The new BIR chief reportedly headed the campaign policy team, according to sources.

Esquivas-Lumagui is the daughter of former BIR commissioner Sixto S. Esquivias IV. The older Esquivas headed the tax collection agency under former president and current Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. – Rappler.com

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.