Rappler Newscast | December 27, 2013
Today on Rappler.
- Documents show Pacquiao’s financial adviser Michael Koncz didn’t accurately declare Pacquiao’s revenue and expenses.
- The Thai government will ask the military to secure February elections.
- A survey says 68% of Americans think this Congress is the worst in their lifetimes.
Story 1: PACQUIAO'S WEALTH AND MICHAEL KONCZ
Documents obtained by Rappler show Pacquiao never had his finances straightened out in all the years he was fighting in the US until 2010.
The documents, prepared by US accounting firm VisionQwest detail what went wrong with Pacquiao’s finances.
Among the findings: Tax documents for 2006 and 2007 in hand written forms turned over by financial adviser Michael Koncz misstated Pacquiao’s revenue and expenses.
HBO paid Pacquiao in tranches. With proper accounting, Pacquiao’s unremitted incomes should have been credited as “unreported” which means they should have been included in his taxable incomes in succeeding years. They were not.
In a letter to Pacquiao in June 2011, VisionQwest president and CEO Michael Lodge warned the boxer about Koncz.
It is our responsibility as your accountant and advisor “to request of you that Michael Koncz should have no further role in your business affairs.”
The VQ president claimed, “Mr Koncz has now placed our client in a possible tax liability based on his false documentation.”
Koncz was briefly put in the freezer shortly after the letter.
But the problem does not end with Koncz.
According to the documents, HBO remitted to promoter Bob Arum’s Top Rank a total of $144,242,258.61 - representing the net pay-per-view sales of Pacquiao’s fights starting with 2005 against Erik Morales and ending with his Joshua Clottey win in 2010.
Discrepancies exist between the HBO figures on Pacquiao’s earnings and the numbers from Bob Arum’s Top Rank with some discrepancies reaching US$250,00.
Lodge says “We started looking at Top Rank in September of 2010 at Manny’s and Jinkee’s request."
After noting the discrepancies, VQ asked for wider authority from Pacquiao and got it.
VQ was about to take legal steps against Top Rank when its services were terminated September 2011.
Koncz is now back as Pacquiao’s trusted advisor.
He refutes claims that Pacquiao has unpaid taxes to the IRS.
He tells Rappler there may have been a few mix-ups and some of his expenses may be disallowed as deductions.
He says, “This is now being handled by our lawyers in America.
“We have been discussing this issue with the IRS during the last 3 years.”
VQ has since sued Pacquiao to recover the money it loaned him and for services rendered.
In return, Team Pacquiao sued VQ for breach of contract.
The case is still ongoing in the US.
Tax forms image from Shutterstock
Story 2: GOV'T TO BID P2.5-B TRANSPORT TERMINAL PROJECT IN 2014
The government will bid out the P2.5-billion Integrated Transport System Project-Southwest Terminal in May 2014.
In an invitation to bid published in newspapers Friday, the transportation department invites firms interested in the terminal project to submit pre-qualification documents and bid proposals on or before May 15, 2014.
The Southwest Terminal will connect passengers coming from Cavite to other urban transport systems like the future LRT-1 South Extension, city bus, taxi and other public utility vehicles in Metro Manila.
The winning bidder will finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the project for 35 years.
The Terminal project, a Build-Operate-Transfer scheme is the fourth Public-Private Partnership project of the transportation department.
The PPP program was launched in 2010 to create much-needed infrastructure to support economic growth.
Story 3: THAI GOVERNMENT TO ASK ARMY TO SECURE ELECTION
Thailand says it will ask the army to provide security for February elections after violent clashes between police and opposition protesters left two people dead and more than 150 wounded.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government on Thursday rejects a call by the kingdom's election commission to postpone the vote after a policeman was killed during political violence in the capital.
The public health ministry says a 30-year-old civilian struck by a bullet in the chest also died in hospital early Friday.
It says 153 people were injured.
In a nationally televised address, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister says, "I will also ask the military to provide security protection for members of the public on the February 2 election date."
Story 4: OBAMA SIGNS DEFENSE, BUDGET BILLS INTO LAW
US President Barack Obama on Thursday signs into law the compromise US budget bill negotiated by feuding lawmakers and a massive defense bill that takes a step toward closing Guantanamo.
Obama praises the National Defense Authorization Act for allowing accelerated repatriation of detainees from the US naval facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
He says, "I am encouraged that this act provides the executive greater flexibility to transfer Guantanamo detainees abroad, and look forward to working with the Congress to take the additional steps needed to close the facility."
Obama also signs the broader budget agreement which lays out top-line spending limits for 2014 and 2015 and erases $63 billion in arbitrary spending cuts that were to take effect January 1.
Critically, it reduces the threat of a government shutdown after January 15.
Story 5: The wRap
Let’s now look at Rappler’s “wRap” for today…
a list of the ten most important events around the world you shouldn’t miss.
At number 1, A survey says 86 percent of Americans say the current Congress is the worst in their lifetime, while three quarters slam the "do-nothing" legislature.
A CNN/ORC International poll found that 73 percent of Americans say Congress has so far done nothing to address the country's problems.
52 percent say the policies of Democrats would move the country in the wrong direction compared to 54 percent for Republican policies.
CNN notes the current Congress is poised to become one of the least productive in the past forty years with less than 60 bills signed into law.
At number 4, a 13 minute video of US contractor Warren Weinstein - if authenticated - is the latest sign he is alive.
72 year old Weinstein, a development consultant, was kidnapped by al-Qaeda in 2011 in Pakistan.
The video was emailed to journalists who reported from Afghanistan.
It was accompanied by a letter, supposedly handwritten by Weinstein, dated October 3.
The video features the yellow logo of al-Qaeda’s media unit Al-Sahab. Weinstein urges the US government to negotiate with al-Qaeda and calls on President Barack Obama to renew efforts for his release.
And at number 5, A piranha feeding frenzy on Christmas Day injures some 60 people in the Argentine city of Rosario.
A medical official says the attack was "very aggressive," and "the fish literally had torn bits of flesh from some.”
A heat wave hit the region with temperatures soaring to some 38 degrees Celsius pushing thousands to jump in the waters of the Parana River, which is packed with carnivorous fish.
And at number 10, What happens when your Christmas gift misses Christmas? If you ordered it from Amazon, the online store will give you a $20 gift card and pay shipping costs.
Amazon announces this after problems at UPS and FedEx delayed Christmas package deliveries.
UPS spokeswoman Natalie Black says the problems were caused by an unexpected jump in Christmas shopping the last 2 weeks and a compressed holiday shopping season in 2013 because of a late Thanksgiving and severe weather.
Online shopping has grown double digits.
Amazon says this year’s overall holiday shopping season is the “best ever” in the company’s history.
For the full top 10 visit Rappler.com’s ‘the wRap.’
Story 6: LEBRON IS 2013 AP ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James adds another award to his name - the Associated Press’ 2013 Male Athlete of the year.
A two-time champion and four-time Season MVP, James is only the third NBA Player to win the award.
The other two are hall of famers Michael Jordan and Larry Bird.
In May, James bagged his fourth MVP award in 5 years and in June, he led the Miami Heat to its second consecutive NBA title.
Story 7: VOLCANIC FORMATION CONJOINS EXISTING JAPAN ISLAND
The Japanese coastguard says a smoldering islet created by undersea volcanic eruptions off Japan's Pacific coast merges with a nearby island.
Officials overflying the new landmass says it merges at two points with Nishino-shima, an uninhabited volcanic island in the Ogasawara chain, some 1,000 kilometers south of Tokyo.
Two craters on the islet have been erupting at an interval of 30 seconds to one minute spewing brown smoke.
Online shopping image from Shutterstock
Newscast Production Staff
|EXECUTIVE PRODUCER / WRITER||Lilibeth Frondoso|
|ASSOCIATE PRODUCER / PUBLISHER||Rodneil Quiteles|
|HEAD WRITER / PROMPTER||Katerina Francisco|
|MASTER EDITOR / PLAYBACK||Vicente Roxas|
|TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / CAMERAMAN||Charlie Salazar|
|3D GRAPHICS||Sten Bautista|