Presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos should be made to settle his family's P203 billion estate tax dues before the May 9 elections, because if he wins, the money will be "gone forever," an opposition leader said Thursday.
If the government can't collect from the late dictator's son while he's a private citizen, what more if he is president, said retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, co-convenor of the 1Sambayan Coalition.
"Can the BIR now collect if you're president? That’s gone forever," Carpio told ANC.
The Supreme Court in 1997 ruled that the Marcos estate owed the government over P23 billion in estate taxes and the amount due has compounded to P203 billion over time, Carpio said.
"Everybody is saying now, e 'pag siya hindi nagbayad, bakit ako magbabayad? It's a very bad example. That has to be settled before election day."
Carpio said that if Marcos becomes president, he has the power to appoint the next chief of the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
"The president has supervision and control over the entire executive department. Control means he can reverse their decision. He can preempt and make the decision himself," said Carpio.
The president should be the "number one model" for the country, and paying taxes should be a must because "without taxes, the government cannot run."
"If you are the biggest tax evader in the country, then who will now pay taxes to the government?"
Carpio said President Rodrigo Duterte should order the BIR to collect the Marcoses' unpaid taxes before election day.
"He's the boss of Commissioner Dulay. He controls Commissioner Dulay. If he says don't wait for me, that's not enough. You know that a huge amount is not going to the government. You should be the first to tell Dulay, do it," Carpio said, referring to BIR chief Caesar Dulay.