Mendoza: Pacquiao tax fight appears to favor him

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, August 22, 2014


THE fight began with Manny Pacquiao losing the first round without throwing a punch.

It weirdly wore on after tax chief Kim Henares said last year Pacquiao owed the government P2.2 billion in unpaid taxes in 2008 and 2009.

Pacquiao argued he owed the government nothing, saying he had already paid taxes in the US, also citing mutual tax laws between our country and America.

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But Henares said Pacquiao failed to produce documents to prove his claim. She added that even if Pacquiao had paid taxes in the US, he still owed money to the Philippines where “there is a higher rate of taxation.”

Henares also won a ruling freezing several of Pacquiao’s bank accounts and the financing of his house and lot at plush Forbes Park in Makati.

Henares also threatened to seize Pacquiao’s debts and to sell off Pacman’s assets.

Pacquiao faced all this before he fought Brandon Rios in November in Macau. Unfazed, he won convincingly in 12 rounds, proving once more that he is of legendary stuff.

Then off the ring, he resumed his fight with Henares.

In April, Pacquiao was freed from the asset freeze by the Court of Tax Appeal (CTA) on condition he should pay the Henares-imposed bond of P3.3 billion ($75.2 million) on or before Aug. 17.

That would be like making Pacquiao a Round 2 winner for a 1-1 standoff against Henares.

Then just days back, the Supreme Court (SC) issued a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) stopping Henares from collecting the bond of P3.3 billion and ordering Henares not to seize any of Pacquiao’s assets.

With that, Pacquiao won a rousing 2-1 margin over Henares in their tax tussle even as the High Court also ordered a quicker resolution of the issue, noting that the fight began last year and it has not even started its pre-trial stage.

Pacquiao, 35, is set to defend his world welterweight crown on Nov. 23 against American Chris Algieri, 31, in Macau.

What are Pacquiao’s chances of winning?

Because Algieri appears like a first-class patsy despite his unbeaten record, Pacquiao might finish strong again if he would treat Algierie like Henares the way Pacman did when he fought Rios. In all 12 rounds, Pacquiao reduced Rios a.k.a. “Henarios” into a mere punching bag.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2014.

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