MANILA - Members of left-wing labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) on Monday held a picket at the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in Quezon City to protest what they called as the "persecution" of boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
The KMU said the BIR should instead go after "big capitalists" who avoid paying the right taxes.
"We are enraged that the Aquino government is going all-out and over-the-top in attacking Pacquiao even as it refuses to go after big capitalists," KMU leader Elmer Labog claimed. "It is going after a hardworking athlete even as it refuses to go after thieves who exploit workers."
He said the government is shaming itself in going after Pacquiao, who allegedly owes P2.4 billion in unpaid taxes and penalties to the BIR.
Pacquiao's lawyer, Atty. Tranquil Salvador, on Monday said Pacquiao only paid around P7.4 million in taxes in 2009, subject to amendments, because documentations from the US have not been completed to meet the deadline.
He said Pacquiao is only asking for compassion from the BIR.
BIR chief Kim Henares, on the other hand, said Pacquiao was given 2 years to settle his tax case.
Henares said, despite demand letters sent to the boxer-politician, the BIR did not get any proof from Pacquiao's camp that he paid taxes in the US.
She urged Pacquiao to sit down with his lawyers and accountants to resolve his tax collection case.