Moreno to Marcos camp: Pay ₱23-B tax liability now

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Roxas, Oriental Mindoro (CNN Philippines, March 31) — Presidential candidate Isko Moreno dared the camp of opponent Bongbong Marcos to settle his family's estate taxes after a lawyer from the former senator's party acknowledged the Supreme Court's ruling on the Marcoses' liabilities is final and executory.

"Pagbigyan natin si Attorney. Bayaran mo na 'yung ₱23 billion. Attorney, final na pala e. Nasaan na?" the Manila mayor told reporters during a chance interview before his campaign event in Roxas town, Oriental Mindoro.

[Translation: Let's humor their lawyer. Pay the ₱23 billion. Attorney, it's already final. Where is it?]

Moreno was reacting to CNN Philippines' interview last March 30, when Partido Federal ng Pilipinas general counsel George Briones admitted that the ₱23 billion amount was already final.

Briones added during the interview that the ₱203 billion Moreno was referring to is mostly composed of surcharges, and is "subject for reconciliation."

RELATED: DOF chief: Marcoses have yet to settle tax deficiencies

But regardless of the amount, the Aksyon Demokratiko standard bearer said the Marcos family — or their lawyers — should settle their dues immediately.

"Whether ₱23 billion or ₱203 billion based on final assessment, what matters most is may ₱23 billion kang dapat bayaran at inamin mo na na dapat bayaran. Tanong, o, bayaran mo na ngayon! Kailangan ng bansa ng pera," Moreno said.

[Translation: Whether it's ₱23 billion or ₱203 billion based on final assessment, what matters most is that you pay the ₱23 billion, and you admitted that you need to pay it. Pay it now! The country needs money.]

"Someday, magbabayad talaga kayo. Sana nga kung talagang mabuti kayong tao at kayo ay para sa tao, ngayon na. Pero ang good news na ngayon, at least umamin na sila," the mayor added.

[Translation: You will really have to pay someday. But if you are good people and truly for the people, you will do it now. But at least the good news is, they already admitted it.]

Moreno said the money will help farmers buy fertilizer, and help cushion the impact of soaring fuel prices on public transport drivers.

Moreno is on a two-day campaign swing of the Mindoro provinces — a known bailiwick of one of his Senate bets, Carl Balita.