CLAIM: The Marcos family was not given the chance to argue its side regarding their estate tax case



In an interview with TV personality Toni Gonzaga on Tuesday, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. erroneously claimed that the Marcos family was not given the chance to present its side in the case filed against them by the government in the early 1990s for billions in unpaid estate taxes.

“We were never allowed to argue because when this case came out, we were all in the US. So when it was the time for us to answer, we had no chance to answer because we were [detained] in Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii,” he said in the interview aired on the ALLTV channel.

This claim is false.

In a Facebook post, Rappler editor at large Marites Danguilan Vitug, shared former Supreme Court (SC) senior associate justice Antonio Carpio’s statement that Imelda Marcos received notices of tax assessment from the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) upon the family’s return to the country from exile. 

She quoted Carpio as saying:

“The BIR notices of tax assessment were issued to and received by Imelda Marcos after the Marcoses returned to the [Philippines] from exile. The Marcoses deliberately ignored the BIR notices until the Leyte properties of the Marcos estate were auctioned off by the BIR. BBM (Bongbong Marcos) then questioned the validity of the assessment before the CA (Court of Appeals) and finally before the SC where Imelda also intervened and filed a second MR (motion for reconsideration).” 

According to the 1997 Supreme Court decision on the Marcos estate tax case , which denied the appeal of Marcos Jr., the Marcos family was given the opportunity to raise objections as regards the BIR notices, but did not act until the Leyte properties were auctioned off by the bureau.

“The deficiency tax assessments were not protested administratively, by Mrs. Marcos and the other heirs of the late president, within 30 days from service of said assessments,” the decision read. 

In a Press Room podcast episode back in April,  former Presidential Commission on Good Governance and Commission on Elections chairman Andres Bautista said he had met the Marcos siblings in 2011. 

In the meeting, the Marcoses inquired about the amount that they needed to return to finally settle their cases.

“At that time, pati ‘yung estate tax iniisip na rin nila kung paano aayusin,” Bautista said.

However, after that meeting, none of the Marcoses attempted to reach out to try and settle the cases. —Mariel Natanawan


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