BOB Arum of Top Rank Promotions expressed disappointment over tax evasion claims against Manny Pacquiao just days following his successful ring comeback with an emphatic victory over Brandon Rios.
Arum, Pacquaio’s longtime promoter, said the Filipino boxing hero doesn’t deserve to be treated this way especially since Pacquaio has not been remise in paying his taxes for the fights he had in 2008 and 2009.
On Tuesday, the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) declared the 34-year-old prize fighter and congressman failed to pay taxes on his earnings for five fights covering a period of two years, from the 2008 Juan Manuel Marquez bout to his 2009 match against Miguel Cotto.
The amount reached P2.2 billion, including interests and penalties.
The matter forced the Court of Tax Appeals to freeze Pacquiao’s bank accounts, despite claims by the camp of the eight-time world champion that he already paid the corresponding taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the US amounting to US$400 million.
“This is so, so unfair to Manny Pacquiao, who has been a model citizen,” said Arum in an interview by GMA News-7 from his Top Rank office in Las Vegas.
“It’s not Manny’s fault. He can do nothing about it. The failure lies with this bureaucratic government decisions whether they’re in the US or the Philippines.”
In a separate statement by the Top Rank chairman obtained by Spin.ph, Arum confirmed the 47-year-old promotional outfit had indeed withheld 40 percent of Pacquiao’s purses from 2008 and 2009 and directly paid his taxes to the IRS.
“Top Rank has deposit confirmations for each payment. Top Rank has done the same for all US endorsements it has facilitated on Manny’s behalf,” said Arum, a Harvard-educated lawyer.
Arum said Top Rank already submitted copies of the corresponding payments to the BIR, but the agency still directed Pacquiao to obtain certified documents from the IRS.
“Why the IRS has not yet furnished the certification to the Philippine government is really something I don’t understand,” added Arum.