The Isko party asks the Supreme Court for a “certificate of finality” on the inheritance rights of the Marcos family


MANILA, Philippines — Aksyon Demokratiko, the political party of presidential hopeful Isko Moreno, has asked the Supreme Court for a “certificate of finality” over the 1997 High Court ruling on the $203 billion unpaid inheritance tax of pesos owed by the Marcos family.

In a letter to Attorney Basilia Ringol, Deputy Registrar and Chief of the Supreme Court Office, Aksyon Demokratiko President Ernesto Ramel specifically requested a certificate of finality for the case.

Ramel’s letter to the SC was prompted by a Facebook post from attorney Vic Rodriguez, chief of staff and spokesperson for Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who claimed the case cited above was “not yet final and enforceable”.

“The purpose of the certificate of finality requested is to establish that the aforementioned matter is in fact final and binding and/or entered in the book of judgment entries,” Ramel said in his letter dated March 21 which was received on 22 by Ringol’s office.

Moreno’s camp has been on the offensive against fellow presidential bet Marcos in recent months with his letters to government agencies highlighting the family’s unpaid taxes. Moreno pledged to distribute the 203 billion peso tax as aid to families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

During the Comelec presidential debates last weekend, other candidates were also in favor of the government going after the family of the late ousted dictator who died in 1989 after amassing considerable wealth by looting the coffers of the government during its corruption-riddled martial law regime.

Ramel slammed Marcos Jr.’s spokesperson for claiming the issue of family estate tax liability was only being used to score political points for the upcoming election against the dictator’s son and namesake and former president.

“Politics? Stop the spin and the deception, Atty. Vik Rodriguez. The whole truth is in front of you and Marcos Jr. Your allegation that this is just politics is full of arrogance,” Ramel said in Filipino.

Ramel warned that if the BIR, which is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Finance, fails to collect the property tax of 203 billion pesos by June 30, 2022, the debt may “disappear like a bubble forever.” “if another Marcos arrives in Malacanang on July 1st.

Rodriguez reiterated his assertion that the tax case “is still pending in court and ownership of the disputed properties has not yet been settled.”

“That being so, the fair and equitable tax base to be used to calculate inheritance tax cannot yet be definitively established,” he said.

In a series of letters to Aksyon Demokratiko, the Presidential Commission on Good Government – the agency set up to recover the ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses and their cronies – said the BIR “has already executed its final assessment” on the affected properties as early as 1993 and that “as early as 1997 the judgment on the tax case had become final and enforceable” based on the Supreme Court’s decision of June 5, 1997.

BIR Commissioner César Dulay, responding to a letter sent by Ramel, confirmed that he sent a written request to the Marcos heirs on December 2, 2021 regarding their unpaid tax.

Franco Luna

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