FILIPINO boxing hero Manny Pacquiao on Wednesday denied owing unpaid taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the US, claiming the latest controversy he has found himself in is the handiwork of people who are "out to destroy my name."
The former eight-division world champion said a report by entertainment website TMZ.com that the IRS is going after him for unpaid taxes totalling US$18.5 million from 2006 to 2010 is not true, saying his promoter Bob Arum makes sure he is taxed for all his earnings in the US.
“Bayad na ni Bob (Arum) lahat 'yun (taxes). Kinakaltas 'yun. Diretso sa IRS 'yun. Sa bawat laro ko andun ang IRS, nakatutok sila. Inaabot ni Arum yung tax,” he said. (Bob Arum has paid all the taxes. The money goes directly to the IRS. It has people there during my fights, and Arum hands over the payment to them.)
Pacquiao said the report is no different from another recent newspaper story claiming he is a US green card holder - a claim which the ring icon has since proven to be false.
The Sarangani congressman said he sees a pattern from all the "lies" being thrown at him.
“May mga talagang gusto lang sumira sa akin. Kitang kita naman 'yun. Biro mo dati green card (nilabas nila), hindi naman totoo yung green card,” he said. (There are people who are out to destroy me. That's very clear. Before they said I have a green card, which wasn' true.)
Asked who he feels are the people out to destroy his name, Pacquiao said: “Ayoko nang sabihin … pulitiko kasi ako!” (I don't want to name them ... I'm a politician, you know.)
To listen to podcast of full interview with Pacquiao, click here.
To prove that he is not running away from anything, Pacquiao said he is in fact pushing through with a scheduled trip to the US this month for a vacation with his entire family.
“Hindi totoo 'yan. Wala 'yan. Eh di sana hindi na ako nakapunta sa US. Pupunta nga akong December dun eh. Dala ko mga anak ko. Bakasyon kami,” said Pacquiao. (That [report] is not true. In fact I'm going to the US with the kids in December for a vacation.)
“Basta ako hindi ako natataranta dyan. Wala akong tinatago. Hindi naman ako nagnanakaw, wala naman akong tinatago,” Pacquiao added. (I'm not bothered by that case. I have nothing to hide, I'm not a thief.)
“Alam mo (kaya may ganyang isyu)… envy ba. Jealousy.” (You know why there are issues like that? Jealousy.)