Settle tax woes before April rematch with Bradley, Pacquiao told

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Monday, January 27, 2014

A LAWMAKER on Monday urged Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao to settle his tax case with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) before he faces Timothy Bradley in an April 12 rematch in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cavite Representative Elpidio Barzaga said the camps of the Filipino boxing champion and BIR Commissioner Kim Henares should finally end their stalemate and move to a compromise so that Pacquiao will have no distraction as he is set to start his training camp for the April bout.

Pacquiao and Bradley first fought for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight belt in 2012, where the undefeated American fighter won over the Filipino via a controversial 12-roud split decision.

"Now that it's official that Pacquiao will fight Bradley, efforts should be made by the BIR and him to put an end to his tax problems so that the 'Pambansang Kamao' [National Fist] could concentrate fully on his forthcoming match," Barzaga said.

Barzaga said Pacquiao should be able to fight with an "unencumbered mind."

Pacquiao, who is expected to be US$20 million richer after the rematch, is being accused by the BIR for allegedly failing to pay as much as P2.2-billion for his income from boxing in recent years, causing the government agency to temporarily freeze his bank deposits.

The camps of Pacquiao and the BIR have already agreed to pursue an out-of-court negotiation over the case, prompting the Court of Tax Appeals to issue a gag order.

"Every time Pacquiao wins, he gives the needed respite to the country especially in the wake of disasters with unimaginable magnitude. He is always a big morale booster and a true hero. He is our national pride and let us help him win by removing the burden of his tax controversy," Barzaga said.

The Cavite lawmaker added that Pacquiao's triumph over Brandon Rios last November showed that the Filipinos strong determination to succeed in life despite the many hurdles and challenges.

"Manny's resilience shows that ‘never say never’ attitude of Filipinos. Manny is always providing inspiration during times when we need it most," he said. (Sunnex)

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