President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday the Bureau of Internal Revenue should answer questions on uncollected estate taxes, in what amounts to a "reminder", according to Malacanang.
Duterte made the remark as several groups prodded the BIR to collect P203-billion in unsettled estate taxes of the family of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., whose son Bongbong is running for president in the May 9 elections.
"Sa taxation natin, so ang gobyerno can only prod. Hindi naman kailangan ng reminder sa Malacañang. Nandiyan ‘yung BIR so tanungin natin ‘yang BIR bakit hanggang ngayon hindi nakolekta ‘yung estate tax. So ‘yan ang ano diyan," Duterte said in his late-night address.
Asked about Duterte's remarks, Communications Sec. Martin Andanar refused to confirm whether the President was referring to a specific issue.
"The President only reminded the BIR to act on its mandate and that is to collect taxes," Andanar said.
"Hindi lang sa kung sinong politiko o personalidad aba'y dapat sa lahat ng hindi nagbabayad eh habulin ng BIR sapagkat kailangan ng karagdagang pondo ang ating national government," he added.
Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Bongbong Marcos' rival for the presidency, had sought the opinion of the Supreme Court on the unsettled estate taxes of the late dictator's family.
The Marcos camp however has dismissed the matter as "all politics" noting that the issue was raised a few weeks before the May 9 elections.
“It’s not a coincidence that rivals of presidential front-runner Bongbong Marcos are raising this matter in unison a few weeks before the elections; sadly, this is all about politics," lawyer Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson for Marcos Jr., said over the weekend.