by Charles Jay
I don’t know enough about Manny Pacquiao’s tax situation or his earnings to tell you whether or not he is “cheating” the Philippine government out of their money; or rather, HIS money that they want to take.
But I can tell you that Pacquiao has gotten way, way out of hand.
He seems to have become self-important enough that he almost begs to be taken down.
Pacquiao’s latest antic, after agents for the Bureau of Internal Revenue filed a criminal complaint against him, was to call for “discipline” against them for what was termed “graft and corruption” charges according a published report from Manila.
Such an allegation would seem to imply that this revenue agent was looking to be paid off to look the other way, or that he was paid off by a third party to harass Pacquiao, but whatever it is, it is not know. Pacquaio’s lawyer, speaking for the champion, was not able to describe the genesis of these charges. It seems the only “crime” committed here on the part of the BIR officer, Rozel Lozares, was filing the complaint itself.
That’s interesting, and we’ll get back to that little detail in a moment.
Let’s contemplate for a moment that there appears to be a pattern emerging with Pacquiao. Well, maybe not a pattern, but something that may have been there the whole time, where I’ve just noticed it. Anytime someone challenges Pacquiao on something in his home country, he seems to want to send the guy to prison, as if his position as a boxing icon and political figure actually gives him the right to bully people into that position whenever he wants.
For all I know, maybe it does. But if it does, the Philippines is one screwed-up country.
The pattern is one that is usually associated with people who have something to hide. Pacquiao’s attitude seems to be “How dare you question me?” as a shield against questions being raised about his behavior. And as a “messenger of God,” which is the latest shtick, it looks like he’s trying to place one more layer of insulation between himself and accountability.
Incidentally, the Bureau of Revenue completely stands behind the actions of Lozares, who, in the words of BIR Commissioner Kim S. Jacinto-Henares, was using standard operating procedure in any of his actions. In other words, he went by the book. There seems to have been some questions raised about double taxation when it comes to Pacquiao, since he would be liable to be taxed on his in-ring income when he fights in the United States. But this problem is rather easily dealt with between the governments of the United States and the Philippines. It’s some of the back-end money, a result of pay-per-view revenue, that is kind of hard to catch, since it trickles in irregularly; sometimes long after a fight.
And by the way, much of the focus of the BIR’s case doesn’t involve Pacquiao’s fight purses at all. There are plenty of businesses Pacquiao has either a majority or minority interest in throughout the Philippines, and it has not been accounted for. If Pacquiao is so concerned about damage to his reputation having an impact on his ability to secure commercial endorsements, he certainly has a remedy for it. And maybe he better. After all, you can;’t shoot commercials from prison.
Henares doesn’t think the whole thing is a big deal; that is only a matter of producing documents. But apparently such a seemingly simple thing IS a big deal here, because even after all the posturing on the part of Pacquiao that such things have not been requested properly, he’s still had a lot of time SINCE he’s complained about it. And still, there’s nothing.
Here’s what’s especially interesting, and perhaps even somewhat amusing, about the stance of “Saint Manny” in this situation. As it appears he the only crime the BIR officers have committed was simply filing an action against him, to suggest that such a thing is rife with “graft and corruption” without proper substantiation may just amount to slander. Of course, it is quite ironic that Pacquiao is seeking a criminal libel charge against a reporter named Edwin Espejo, who wrote that Pacquiao was housing a fugitive from justice and had a lot more in the way of evidence to back up his story then PacMan has in his allegations against the BIR official.
Somebody needs to reel that guy in.