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Duterte to Pinoys: Don’t pay taxes unless…

MANILA, Philippines — Former president Rodrigo Duterte has advised Filipinos to stop paying taxes until Congress issues a detailed disbursement report on how it spent the national budget.

Duterte recently issued a death threat against a lawmaker, prompting House of Representatives leaders to unite as Rep. France Castro filed criminal charges against the former president.

The death threat stems from Castro’s scrutiny and the reallocation of the controversial confidential and intelligence funds of Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte.

The former president earlier claimed that Congress was “wallowing” in funds.

“If they don’t present (a detailed disbursement report), you follow me, I will not pay my taxes anymore,” Duterte said during his Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa TV program on Oct. 23.

“It is not a threat, it is a legal demand. Let me know where my money went and how it is spent and I will pay my taxes again this year,” he added.

Duterte said the public should just let the Bureau of Internal Revenue file a case against them, as the BIR cannot prosecute 50 million Filipinos who will not pay taxes.

As for his daughter Sara, he said that she was not respected.

“You did not respect my daughter. Why did you humiliate and embarrass my daughter? She did not ask for a position. President Marcos gave that to her,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

During the 2022 elections, Sara expressed her desire to be defense secretary but Marcos assigned her as education chief instead. On Jan. 24, 2022, Marcos said that it was a “good idea” to give her the defense portfolio.

“You are making it seem as if she requested the intelligence fund for corrupt activities,” he noted.

State auditors could only depend on the transparent and accurate submissions of government agencies in auditing confidential and intelligence funds, making the funds difficult to audit.