Press Release
February 15, 2008

Palace uses BIR against it enemies - Chiz

Sen. Chiz Escudero yesterday accused Malacañang of using the Bureau of Internal Revenue to run after those who run contrary to its self-serving policies.

"Malacañang apparently has a new program it wants the Bureau of Internal Revenue to implement. It is not called Run After Tax Evaders, but Run After Political Reformers. Its aim is not to assess tax compliance, but to audit obedience to the powers-that-be," he said.

Under the Arroyo administration, Escudero said the tax audit has acquired an expanded definition, to include loyalty check. "So when the taxman cometh those who harbor political views different from those of Malacañang's will be forced to toe the line."

He said the threats also carry this message: Leniency will be shown to corporate taxpayers who will manifest support for Malacañang. In short, he added tax credits can be claimed for meekness, and silence can be a tax-deductible trait.

"But Malacañang has apparently forgotten that a large chunk of revenues comes from corporate Philippines, and it owes its improving fiscal health to the cooperation of large taxpayers," Escudero stressed.

He urged the government to implement tax laws to everyone, including those who are allies or supporters of the Arroyo administration.

"In ferreting out hoarded taxes, the motivation should not be partisan in nature, but apolitical desire to implement fairly and transparently what's on the tax book," Escudero added.

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