Remulla on Marcos estate taxes: Improbable, ridiculous
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla described as “improbable” and “ridiculous” the multibillion-peso estate taxes being charged against the family of President Marcos.
The Marcos estate tax liability has allegedly ballooned to P203 billion from the P23 billion originally assessed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in 1991, nearly two years after the death of former President Ferdinand Marcos in Hawaii.
“If I look at the figures, they seem improbable. The figures were computed based on a biased computation,” Remulla told Rotary Club of Manila members on Thursday.
He argued that the late dictator’s family was charged estate taxes for assets that were not in their possession at the time of his death in September 1989.
Deceased President Corazon Aquino created the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) upon assuming office in 1986 to sequester ill-gotten assets of the Marcoses and their cronies.
Mandate shift for PCGG
“I think that’s what happened in this case: Assets that were never passed on to the heirs were being taxed a charge of estate tax. So from the very beginning, I think the premises were ridiculous,” Remulla said.
“I can be proven wrong … but that is what I surmise. That is what I understand from what I’ve read before, that these assets never passed on to them but they’re being charged taxes on these assets which are not theirs anymore or which were never theirs because the government got them already,” he continued.
Remulla also disclosed plans to shift the mandate of the PCGG, an agency attached to the Department of Justice (DOJ), to become a “central forfeiture asset office” not only for Marcos ill-gotten assets but all assets seized by the government.
“We don’t really want to abolish the PCGG. I have suggested that we create an asset forfeiture office for assets seized by the government for nonpayment of taxes, drug trafficking or for other crimes” include graft and corruption, he said.
Remulla said he suggested the change to Mr. Marcos.
“When we were looking at the future of the PCGG, how it’s been 36 years after the fact, I don’t think we need to spend the next hundred years running after the Marcoses,” said the former Cavite district representative.
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