Press Release
November 4, 2009

Transcript of ambush interview with Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile


Q: Sir, yung plano ng BIR to tax campaign spending? Is this possible?

SP Well, that is tax that is borne by the TV stations and radio stations. Not by the candidates. The candidates will simply withhold the tax of 5%. 5% creditable withholding tax so that will be a charge or a burden on the people putting up or supplying the outlet for the advertisement. In the case of radio, it will be the radio stations that will bear the tax. In the case of television stations, it will be the television stations that will bear the tax.

Q: Sir, hindi po ba parang double tax na ito? Because the stations, the networks already paid tax on their earnings and profits?

SP No. The procedure is simply if the candidate places an ad, then he will withhold 5% of the payment for the ads. But this one he will deliver to the national treasury and the TV station concerned or radio station will then report that in its income statement for purposes of income taxation and include it in the gross income. Now if there is any excess in the amount of tax paid then the BIR will refund. If there is a bigger tax to be paid, then yun, babayaran ng TV station or radio station. That will be part of their total income.

Q: Sir, hindi po ba kailangan ng new law?

SP There's a law already. It's in the Internal Revenue Code of 1997.

Q: But this is not being practised right now?

SP No. It is being implemented only now. I understand they have already published the regulations.

Q: Sir, there is no legal impediment because it is already in the Internal Revenue Code?

SP There is no legal impediment.

Q: Sir, what is the assurance that the candidates will remit the 5%?

SP It is very difficult to administer this law. Halimbawa, meron nagbibigay ng t-shirt, hindi mo alam kung sino yung nagbigay na yun, eh pano mo i-wiwithold yun? Sino ang magwiwithold nun? Kung anonymous yung nagbigay? Hindi ko naman kasalanan yun kung ako ang beneficiary nun, kasi I did not solicit it. Eh kung admirer ko lang yun, at siya ay nagpagawa ng t-shirt, pano mo matetrace yun?

Q: Sir, so dapat bang ipilit pa ito ng BIR?

SP Kailangan nila ng tax eh.

Q: Eh sir, yung imposition ng taxes dun sa mga establishment ng tiangge?

SP Eh pati Christmas bazaar daw eh pupuntahan ng mga BIR, pati yung mga tiangge. So that shows that the government needs money.

Q: Sir, will you support that move?

SP Well, everybody must pay taxes.

Q: Even during this time, sir?

SP Hindi naman panibagong tax yan eh. When you do an economic activity, it is subject to tax, subject to vat, if you make a profit, the profit is subject to income tax.

Q: Pero sir, ang sinasabi naman po kasi nila, even if they raise yung mga ganung measures, ang problema nila, yung tax collection.

SP Kaya nga nangongolekta sila ng tax eh.

Q: Pero sir, effective ba yung mga nakaupo dun? Kaya nga umaalis yung BIR chief, kasi hindi effective yung tax effort nila?

SP I cannot judge the people in the Bureau of Internal Revenue because I do not know them. I do not know their capabilities.


Q: Sir, yun pong talks between Erap and Chiz nowadays?

SP I think Chiz up to this point is a personality unto himself. Meaning that he will do it alone. I think he will have a vice president.

Q: So, wala po kayong alam na pag-uusap na in case magkaroon ng problema doon kay Erap na pagtakbo, yung possibility that Chiz will replace him?

SP Wala, walang ganun. Kung marereplace si Erap baka ang tatakbo si Dr. Loi o si Jinggoy.

Q: Pero, plano po ba yan, sir?

SP Hindi nga. Sinasabi ko lang. Substitution eh. Substitution. Wala yan. Pero substitution, we are talking of substitution. Eh, who could use the Estrada family name, except Dr. Loi or JV, or Jinggoy?

Q: Pero sir, sa tingin ninyo, kung sakali na maging independent si Chiz, sa tingin ninyo magkakaroon ng changes? Kasi ayaw na raw niya ng traditional campaign. Kasi wala pa namang nananalo na independent presidentiable sir.

SP There is always a first time, my dear. There is always a first time to undertake a revolution.

Q: Sir, we do not count him out?

SP Si Chiz? I will not count him out. We will not.

Q: Ano sir, yung nakikita ninyong edge ni Chiz over other candidates?

SP I will not say, unfair sa other candidates yun. I have a candidate eh. Pero I am saying, I will not count him out.

Q: Sir, pero walang effort dun sa grupo ninyo to invite Chiz?

SP Wala. I don't think Chiz is, as far as the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, is in the cards. We are confident that Erap is not disqualified. But, just in case he will be disqualified, we are talking of the possibilities. You can never tell, no? Then if substitution is allowable, the only substitutions are people who have Estrada surnames.

Q: That's in the law, sir, na kailangan Estrada din?

SP It will be the choice of the party. Since the Estrada name is the one that has name recall to the supporters of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, then I assume it will have to be an Estrada.

Q: But the law does not stipulate that it has to be an Estrada?

SP No, it does not.

Q: Anybody can be substituted?

SP Yes.

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