President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday brought up Sen. Manny Pacquiao's old P2.2 billion tax evasion case, the latest in the word war between the two former allies.
Duterte, in a meeting with his and Pacquiao's PDP-Laban party, mentioned the senator's tax woes in light of the corruption allegations made by the lawmaker against several government agencies.
Pacquiao had a years-long bout with the Bureau of Internal Revenue over supposed dues worth P2.2 billion. The senator was accused of not declaring his dollar winnings in his boxing matches from 2008 to 2009.
In 2017, the BIR was ordered by the Court of Tax Appeals to cease and desist from collecting Pacquiao's supposed tax deficiencies.
"I remember he has a tax evasion case, and he has been assessed to pay P2.2 billion--ang utang niya na di niya binayaran ang gobyerno of all these fights," Duterte said.
"Sabi niya kasi corrupt, kung corrupt kami, ikaw, when you cheat government, you are a corrupt official lalo na," he added.
The President's remarks came after Pacquiao claimed that there were P10.4 billion in missing funds supposedly allocated for the government pandemic cash aid program or ayuda. The Department of Social Welfare and Development, which handled the cash aid program, denied Pacquiao's claims.