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Does Manny Pacquiao deserve tax exemption?

07:01 PM December 24, 2013

I appreciated Reni Valenzuela’s paean to Manny Pacquiao (“Smarter, stronger, Pacman showed heart,” Letters, 12/18/13). But we might want a more global or balanced presentation.

On the tax exemption proposed for him (and other winning athletes), had he been a model citizen, the exemption bill might have had an underdog’s chance. But the congressman is competing as top House absentee and has started his own dynasty in Mindanao (elected wife and election loser brother). Good, Speaker Sonny Belmonte disfavors this invidious exemption discrimination in favor of an arguable tax cheat.

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And what will he do with his savings anyway? Unless truly reformed, finance his vices, womanizing, casino and cockpit swings, the lavish parties of his mother (imported dance instructors from Manila and costume changes) at a time of great want, etc.?

Manny turned 35 this week, a rather perilous age for one who indicated that he would take out Brandon Rios in two rounds or so, but the latter carried the fight to the last bell.

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Remember, Manny, first your legs go, then your reflexes, then your friends–from featherweight champ Willie Pep.

Manny’s tax woes are far from over with Bob Arum, a Harvard Law cum laude, saying the IRS papers are on their way from the United States. By snail mail? Commissioner Kim Henares says the Bureau of Internal Revenue started raising questions about Manny’s taxes more than two years ago.

Pacquiao’s Canadian adviser Mike Koncz now says a compromise with the taxman is being worked out on exemptions to reduce Manny’s liability. So what’s the real deal? Settlement may be the way to go.

Tax exemption for Manny may spur more of the young to go into the “Manly Art of Modified Murder” (Bill McGeehan) and risk joining Joshua Garcia, the high school student in an athletic meet declared first as brain dead and then very, very dead. Maybe Manny can visit the financially-strapped Garcias with a generous cash gift.

How much damage has Manny’s brain suffered? No one knows, but any hard blow to the head must shake it. We don’t want anyone shuffling and stuttering like Muhammad Ali, he of the outstanding physique when he started. Manny may or may not have a longer unscheduled siesta in his next fight.

–RENE SAGUISAG,

[email protected]

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TAGS: BIR, Boxing, Manny Pacquiao, sports, Tax Exemption
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