Mikey Arroyo on tax evasion charges against him and his wife: "Pure political harassment"

(SPOT.ph) The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has filed tax evasion charges against Ang Galing Pinoy Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo and his wife, Maria Angela, reports Inquirer.net. BIR Commissioner Kim Henares said yesterday that the couple has a total tax liability of at least P73.85 million, inclusive of surcharges and interest.

Henares said the former presidential son did not file his Income Tax Return (ITR) in 2005, 2008 and 2009, while his wife failed to do so from 2003 to 2009. According to Henares, Arroyo’s wife also did not pay the corresponding taxes for the real and personal properties she bought from 2004 to 2009.

Henares added that the couple has an underdeclaration of taxable income of more than 30 percent-considered prima facie evidence of fraudulent return-in 2004, 2006 and 2007.

Arroyo described the charges as "pure political harassment," reports Inquirer.net. "Clearly, this administration is resorting to political gimmickry as its popularity rating is declining... My conscience is clear... I have done nothing wrong. Now that the case is already in court and the rules of evidence will finally govern this issue, I am confident I will be vindicated."

Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri questioned why President Noynoy Aquino was supposedly only going after Arroyo administration officials such as Mikey Arroyo and Local Water Utilities Administration Chairman Prospero Pichay, who is facing a graft case. "It seems that there is a perceived harassment against the previous administration," Zubiri told Inquirer.net.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda denied targeting the family of Aquino’s predecessor, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said, "It does not begin with an individual from the last administration being specifically targeted. It begins with the discovery of an anomaly and then an investigation of that anomaly."

For more on this story, log on to Inquirer.net.

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