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Marcos critics ask BIR to be fair in anti-tax evasion campaign 

People line up to file their income tax returns at the Bureau of Internal Revenue office in Intramuros, Manila, April 18. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ RUSSELL A. PALMA

A CIVIC group on Sunday asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to be fair in its clampdown against tax evaders, citing the tax case of President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. and his family.   

The group made the call after the bureau filed criminal complaints on Thursday against 53 individuals and companies for evasion with combined tax dues worth P3.57 billion.  

“It is high time that the President and his family pay for their estate tax deficiencies. If the BIR is truly serious in going after big-time tax evaders, it should implement the final judgment of the Supreme Court on the Marcos estate,” the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses and Martial Law (CARMMA) said in a statement. 

In March last year, BIR said it sent a demand letter to the Marcos family in December 2021 to settle their tax liabilities that have ballooned to more than P200 billion, including the principal amount and interests.  

“P3.57 (billion) is a lot smaller compared with the P203 billion that the Marcoses continue to deny and ignore,” CARMMA said. “The revenue agency does not even have to go to court, it just has to implement a final decision of the Supreme Court.” 

CARMMA noted that BIR chief Romeo D. Lumagui, Jr. is a former member of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos’ law firm.  

“We call on the BIR to show in deeds that its accountability is with the people, not with a family of proven tax evaders who have returned back to power,” the group said.   

The Office of the President did not immediately reply to a request for comment. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza

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