President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday asked the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) why it had yet to collect estate taxes of an unspecified person to help fund government programs.

Duterte, in a “Talk to the People” address, was talking about how much the government was making from e-sabong operations, when he raised the estate tax issue.

“Baka nagdududa kayo bakit hindi ko hininto. Hindi ko ho hininto kasi kailangan ng pera sa e-sabong ng gobyerno. I’ll make it public now, it’s P640 million a month. And in a year’s time, it’s billion plus. Saan tayo maghanap ng pera ng ganoon na kadali na siguro?” he said.

“Sa taxation natin, so ang gobyerno can only prod. Hindi naman kailangan ng reminder sa Malacañan. Nandiyan ‘yung BIR so tanungin natin ‘yang BIR bakit hanggang ngayon hindi nakolekta ‘yung estate tax. So ‘yan ang ano
diyan,” he added.

According to the BIR, estate tax is a tax on the right of the deceased person to transmit his/her estate to his/her lawful heirs and beneficiaries at the time of death and on certain transfers, which are made by law as equivalent to testamentary disposition.

Duterte made the statement as the BIR is being pushed by several groups to collect the P203-billion estate tax liability of the Marcos family.

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late strongman, claimed “there’s a lot of fake news involved” in his family’s unpaid estate taxes.

“The so-called facts that they call are not facts at all. They’re just presumptions,” he said.

However, the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Marcos estate tax became final and executory in 1999. John Ezekiel J. Hirro