Vic N. Sumalinog

IT looks like the camp of first district Congressman Polong Duterte is silently cooking up  a storm that may be unleashed half way in the campaign. Right now, we can see it in social media and even in outdoor propaganda materials that his challenger Mags Maglana is the more aggressive and visible.

     To date Congressman Polong’s campaign is more focused on the outdoor with streamers and posters here and there. We have so far not noticed any avalanche of such propaganda materials in the social media in contrast to that of Mags. We too, are not aware of any social media posts from the other congressional candidate who is reportedly a Muslim businessman.

     But for how long will Maglana’s apparent dominance in the social media platforms be sustained? How long will the reelectionist First district congressman hold his horses? May be only those who are in his close circle have the idea. We are certain though, that his campaign tacticians are well-aware of the best timing when to start the incumbent’s juggernaut and how to launch it with its impact all in Polong’s favor.

     By this time probably the lady challenger is already aware of the storm that could be let go any time by Polong’s camp in order to derail whatever advantage that the early start of Mag’s campaign may have accumulated in her favor.

     Of course the first district incumbent must not take Maglana’s challenge lightly. From the initial campaign activities and the volume of campaign materials distributed all over the district, it can be deduced that the woman challenger came in with substantial preparation including resource support base. Who these backers are, for certain they are possibly well-heeled in Davao Society, grass root people’s organizations, or may be those who have axes to grind against the incumbent lawmaker.

     There is no argument however, that Polong has grown to be his father’s son – astute and shrewd and knows the level of battle that he is going to fight. And without doubt he has the resources possibly many times over that of his opponent. He may use it to the maximum if he has to – if he has the guts.

     The question now is whether or not the backers of Mags will come out to the open in manifesting their support other the providing her some resources. For certain they have their own interests to protect when the going gets tough.

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     Do the surviving Marcoses really have inheritance from their father where estate tax has to be levied before the ownership passes on to his them? There is no doubt that they have. Even the heirs are not denying that obligation either. The only problem that is attendant to the non-payment of the estate tax is because somehow they are not given a complete and detailed accounting of which properties are to be passed on to them.

     According to those who are strongly demanding for the Marcoses to pay the tax, the Marcos heirs have not made any efforts to settle the tax payables despite the ruling of the Supreme Court that the tax case against the Marcos heirs had been decided and which decision had been declared final and executory as early as 1996 yet.

     Whose fault is the non-payment? Is it the Marcoses’? Based on news articles and opinions coming from those who claim to be tax experts the reason why the Marcos heirs are unwilling to settle their alleged obligation is that they only have so far a vague idea which of the many properties attributed to be theirs are the basis of the tax computation. The Marcoses heirs themselves said some of the properties listed to be levied the estate tax were sequestered by the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) some of which have long been decided to belong to other persons or corporations, returned to the decided true owners, or sold by the government.

     We are not a lawyer by profession. But easily this is the fact behind the Marcos estate tax case that restrained the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) during the Cory-Ramos-Estrada-Macapagal and Aquino III administrations from strongly enforcing the collection including the agency’s non-filing of any criminal case against the Marcos heirs.

     Simply put, the BIR knows it has no proof, documentary or whatever, that the alleged Marcos properties have already been passed on to the heirs which act precedes the tax payment the computation of which is based on the properties’ assessed value.

     Why does the government not lift the sequestration and covertly monitor the actions of heirs instead? Or better still expropriate the properties if it is certain these belong to the late former President and let the proceeds of the sale pay for the estate tax due?

     For comments and/or reactions we can be reached through our e-mail address at: victorino.sumalinog@yahoo.com; Mobile No. 09392980435; or landline at 2372169.

                                                                      


Source: Mindanao Times ( https://mindanaotimes.com.ph/2022/04/05/rough-cuts-cooking-up-a-storm-in-silence/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rough-cuts-cooking-up-a-storm-in-silence)