INCOMING Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) secretary Lilia Guillermo has committed to collect the unpaid estate taxes of the family of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

In a television interview on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, Guillermo said she is yet to review the documents pertaining to the Marcoses’ tax liabilities reportedly amounting to over P200 billion.

She said they also have not yet discussed the matter.

Nevertheless, Guillermo said Marcos should serve as a “role model” in paying taxes.

“Alam mo ang sasabihin ko lang naman sa kanya kung saka-sakaling I have to collect or BIR has to collect, sabihin ko sa kanya this amount, hindi naman po talaga kayo ang magbabayad, it's the estate," said Guillermo.

"'Puwede ho ba maging role model kayo?' 'Yun ang magiging ano eh. The Marcoses will now pay their taxes because nag-comply sa batas. It came from the Supreme Court, it's final and executory so, 'yun lang naman ang sasabihin ko sa kanya pero I should have the correct data," she added.

Guillermo is the current assistant governor of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Her appointment to lead the country’s top collection agency was announced last week.

Guillermo said estate tax payment, which will come from the family of late president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., will help in the collections of the BIR.

"We have to convert those properties to cash para madagdag sa tax collections ng BIR. Give me the time to go over the documents. How much are we talking about? Hindi ko alam kung talagang P200 billion ‘yan, and maybe if that’s really the amount, imagine it will help really in the collections of BIR,” she said.

In 1997, the Supreme Court ruled with finality a Court of Appeals decision indicating that the clan owed P23 billion in estate tax.

It has ballooned to P203 billion due to penalties and surcharges over the years that it was left unpaid.

Last year, the BIR sent a letter to the Marcoses demanding for the payment of their tax liabilities.

In April, a month ahead of the national and local elections, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III filed a resolution seeking the conduct of investigation over the BIR’s failure to collect the estate tax obligation of the family, which could have helped the country amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

Pimentel said he would refile the resolution in the 19th Congress.

On Wednesday, June 22, Pimentel welcomed Guillermo’s commitment, saying the BIR may start by collecting the principal P23-billion tax liability while the interest may be collected later on. (SunStar Philippines)