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Duterte determined to run after 'tax evader' elites who amass wealth

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is determined to run after the country’s entrenched elite who amass wealth without paying the proper taxes.
Siena Luchansky
PTPA Siena Luchansky
The President has expressed disdain for the “ruling elite” who expect the government to kneel before them, telling Manila’s 400 that he owed them no favors since he shut them out of his election campaign.

“I avoided money, especially coming from persons, ‘yung the 400 of society who are there enjoying the benefits of governance, protection and all, using public streets and not paying any money, using government property almost one century,” Duterte said during the 6th Professional Summit at the Manila Hotel on Thursday.

“Had I not become the President, I don’t know if we could have recovered those properties. I don’t know if you collected any — a few million from fraud. And well, panahon ko, bayad (Well, you have to pay under my watch),” he added.

Duterte was referring to the group of rich and influential families of Manila that compromised the high society before the martial law regime. The group has since expanded with the inclusion of successful tycoons and politicians.

In his remarks last week, the President also bewailed the “condescending attitude” of the ruling elite who use money and influence to get what they want but evade tax payments.

“They do not pay taxes and they expect government to kneel down to them because they hold power. They have the publications and they have everything. So are the millionaires who contribute to the campaigns,” he said.

“Kasi kung ayaw talaga ninyong bumayad, noon siguro. But ngayon, sinasabi ko, ayaw ko ng corruption (If you don’t want to pay, it was possible in the past. But now, I am telling you I hate corruption),” he added.

While they managed to evade authorities in the past, Duterte mentioned that his administration was able to compel a tobacco firm and an airline company to settle their tax liabilities.

He was referring to the P40-billion settlement made by Mighty Corporation with the Bureau of Internal Revenue. The Lucio Tan-owned Philippine Airlines also agreed to pay P6 billion worth of navigational fees and charges it owed the government for years.

The President earlier vowed to take steps to open up the economy to new players and foreign investors, particularly in the power, energy and telecoms sectors. He has also promised to combat the “monster” oligarchs who enrich themselves through government connection and protection.

Tags: Bureau of Internal Revenue, Duterte determined to run after entrenched elite who amass wealth, Mighty Corporation, Philippine Airlines, tax liabilities, tax payment, telecoms

Duterte determined to run after 'tax evader' elites who amass wealth Duterte determined to run after 'tax evader' elites who amass wealth Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 3:43:00 PM Rating: 5

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