Rodrigo Duterte

Duterte asks BIR: ‘Why haven’t you collected that estate tax?’

Bonz Magsambol
Duterte asks BIR: ‘Why haven’t you collected that estate tax?’

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with key government officials at the Arcadia Active Lifestyle Center in Matina, Davao City on March 29, 2022. RICHARD MADELO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Malacañang Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte suddenly brings up the issue while talking about the need for government revenues through taxes during a pre-recorded address, but does not specify which estate tax he referred to
Duterte asks BIR: ‘Why haven’t you collected that estate tax?’

During his pre-recorded address to the people aired late Tuesday night, March 29, President Rodrigo Duterte suddenly – and briefly – brought up the issue of an unpaid “estate tax” and asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue why it remained uncollected until now.

Duterte did not mention any details about this “estate tax,” but the only estate tax that had grabbed headlines and has become a campaign issue is the Marcos family’s unpaid P203-billion estate tax – which has hounded dictator’s son Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

The President suddenly mentioned the estate tax issue while jusitifying his decision not to halt “e-sabong” or online cockfighting operations, which he said generated P640 million in monthly revenues.

Person, Human, Text

“Sa taxation natin, ang government can only prod. Hindi naman kailangan ng reminder sa Malacañang. Nandiyan ang BIR, so tanungin natin ang BIR, bakit hanggang ngayon hindi nakolekta ‘yung estate tax?” Duterte said, but did not elaborate.

(In our taxation, the government can only prod. No reminder from Malacañang is needed. The BIR is there, so let’s ask the BIR, why haven’t you collected that estate tax until now?)

Two government agencies confirmed that they have been trying to collect unpaid taxes from the heirs of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, worth P23 billion in 1997 and may have already reached P200 billion based on estimates of lawyers contesting the presidential candidacy of Marcos Jr. (READ: BIR, PCGG confirm ongoing P23 billion estate tax collection vs Marcoses)

Duterte asks BIR: ‘Why haven’t you collected that estate tax?’

After he mentioned the estate tax issue, Duterte then volunteered that prior to recording his Tuesday address, he met a lot of politicians seeking his endorsement. “Marami nagpunta dito. Hindi ko na sabihin kung sino. Nanghingi ng suporta. I had to, siyempre I had to talk to them, taas ng kamay nila,” he said.

(Many went here. I won’t name names. They were seeking for support. Of course I had to talk to them, raise their hands.)

Duterte has not endorsed any presidential candidate yet. Though Malacañang confirmed last week the meeting between him the camp of Marcos Jr., Duterte’s spokesperson said it was not a clear indication that the President has made up his mind.

Asked about her father’s statement on the estate tax issue, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said on Wednesday, March 30, “I think to clarify that statement you should ask the President…. I cannot pretend to know what the President is thinking at any given time.”

Also on Wednesday, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, the presidential candidate who first brought up the Marcos’ P203 billion estate tax deficiencies during the campaign season, reacted to the President’s statement.

Tama si Pangulo doon dahil ‘yon naman ay due sa ating bansa. It only shows that ‘yung pagkakapantay-pantay ipapairal niya,” said Moreno in a media interview in Iligan City.

(The President is right because that is what is due to our country. It only shows that he will treat everyone equally under the law.)

Moreno again took a swipe at Marcos Jr.

Kung talagang tumatakbo tayo para tulungan at paakyatin ‘yung antas ng pamumuhay ng tao, I think ‘yung involved na pamilya na ‘yon na siya rin namang kandidato dito, maipakita ‘yung tunay niyang pagmamahal sa taumbayan na ibigay niya ‘yung karapat-dapat para sa tao,” said the Manila mayor.

(If you are running to help people and improve their lives, I think the family involved who also has a candidate can show their true love for Filipinos by giving what is rightfully the people’s.) – With reports from Pia Ranada/

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Bonz Magsambol

Bonz Magsambol is a multimedia reporter for Rappler, covering health, education, and social welfare. He first joined Rappler as a social media producer in 2016.