Rather than giving President Duterte a pat on the back for collecting what the oligarchs owe to the government, the ingrate opposition instead called it arm twisting.
Journalist Ira Panganiban latest Facebook post in reaction to the controversial tweet of former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay sums up the collective sentiment on social media. [Link here]
It read: “Siningil ang mga taong bilyon ang utang sa bansa pero ang reaksiyon mo inipit daw sila. Obvious sa dila mo ikaw ang protektor nila.”
Worse, the opposition camp even have the audacity to accuse the government of making “areglo” or settlement with Mighty Corp who owed the government billions of pesos.
According to this CNN article, the DOJ sued Mighty Corp for tax evasion charges that could cost the cigarette company P37.9 billion if the case pushes through.
Meanwhile, in a PDI article, an NGO group named Nongovernment Action for Economic Reforms, pegged Mighty’s tax liabilities at about P15 billion but Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda told Inquirer that Mighty’s basic arrears could reach up to P25 billion, excluding interest and penalties for nonpayment of excise taxes. [Link here]
If you weigh how much the government is getting from Mighty Corp and avoided a long drawn out court battle, P30B ain’t that bad, right?
Mocha Uson sought the opinion of Finance Secretary Dominguez in regard to the “areglo” accusation from the opposition camp. Here’s what the good secretary says about the tax settlements the government entered with tax delinquents.
Mocha Uson: Secretary Sonny, ano masasabi nyo na binasura ang criminal charges against Mighty Corp at nagkaroon, ang akusasyon ay nagkaroon ng aregluhan?
Sec. Dominguez: Alam nyo walang areglo diyan. Palagay ko sabi ng DOJ, nagbayad na, so the criminal element is already gone. So that’s what I think the DOJ meant. Pero walang areglo yan – nagbayad na ng P30B, hindi milyon ha? Billion pesos. the biggest taxt collection ever.