Pacquiao gets leftists' support over tax row

Posted at 04/16/2012 10:20 PM | Updated as of 04/17/2012 7:55 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Boxing superstar and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao has received the support of left-wing government workers over his tax dispute with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

Courage president Ferdinand Gaite on Monday claimed that the BIR's efforts to have Pacquiao show if he has paid proper taxes is only "political harassment."

"Rep. Paquiao who has given our country pride and glory deserves better treatment from our government," he said. "It is lamentable that while the government is ganging-up on him, the real big time tax evaders are getting away unscathed."

Paquiao is facing contempt charges from the BIR for his alleged failure to obey the bureau's summons to submit his tax documents.

Gaite also claimed that the Aquino administration is going after Paquiao because he did not sign the impeachment complaints against Supreme Court Chief Justice Corona.

Pacquiao is also leaving the Liberal Party to join Vice President Jejomar Binay's PDP-Laban party.

"As government employees who together with the private sector workers constitute the main tax base of the government, we fully support Rep. Paquiao. In the past years, he was the poster boy of BIR, a model taxpayer whose main source came from his blood and sweat literally and figuratively," Gaite said.

He said the government should say sorry to Paquiao.