Duterte remark vs oligarchs a ‘warning’ on unpaid taxes
The remark of President Rodrigo Duterte to oligarchs using government lands but skirting tax obligations should be considered a “warning,” a Palace official said on Tuesday.
“What he’s basically stressing is the seriousness of the matter that the property, government property needs to be returned,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella told reporters in a press briefing. “It is a warning, yes.”
In a Labor Day speech in Davao City on Monday, Duterte gave a deadline of three months to oligarchs using government lands to give it back to the government or he would allow Filipinos to occupy the lands.
READ: Duterte warns private companies using gov’t lands
“If you will not give the lands back to the government, I will ask the Filipino people to occupy the lands that are in your hands,” Duterte said.
The President said the people can select choice properties in Makati and Pasay to occupy and build their house.
Despite Duterte’s warning, Abella said the government would still follow the proper protocol in running after the oligarchs.
“That’s within the purview of the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue). But basically there are really unpaid taxes and unpaid leases apparently regarding certain properties,” he said. JE/rga
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