DOHA—Billionaire Lucio Tan should pay more than P30 billion in tax liabilities to the government, President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday as he vowed to run after oligarchs once he returns from a three-country swing in the Middle East.
“In the fullness of God’s time, sigurado ako basta wala lang corruption at makuha ko ‘yung lahat ng taxes na hindi magbayad nitong mga animal na ito. Lucio Tan has almost billion, 30 billion. He has to pay. He has to pay. Lahat, they have to pay,” Duterte told more than 7,000 Filipinos at Lusail Sports Arena here.
Tan, the country’s fourth richest man in the annual list of Forbes Magazine, has diversified interests in banking, airline, liquor, tobacco, real estate industries and education, owns the Asia Brewery, Philip Morris-Fortune Tobacco Corp., flag carrier Philippine Airlines, Philippine National Bank, and the University of the East. His net worth is estimated at $4.9 billion as of August 2016.
In many of his speeches, Duterte claimed that Tan offered to contribute to his presidential bid “up to the last day of the campaign” including another taipan, Megaworld Corp. Chair Andrew Tan. He claimed, however, that he rejected such offers.
“Yang si Lucio Tan halos to the last day ng kampanya habol nang habol sa akin ‘yan kasi gustong magbigay ng pera. Sabi ko, ‘No.’ Si MegaWorld, sabi ko, ‘Hindi ako tumatanggap. Ayaw ko.’ Kaya naman nanalo ako six million,” said Duterte.
Duterte said that his public cussing has already emboldened him, and that his crackdown to end corruption will continue.
“Minura ko nga si Obama kayo pa. T***** i**. Kaya kayong mayayaman, ‘yang mga tax evasion ninyo magbayad kayo,” he said.
The President previously offered to condone tax liabilities of Alexander Wongchuking, owners of Mighty Corp. in exchange of P3 billion for social services after getting involved in the circulation of fake tax stamps in the country.
Finance officials, however, declined giving in to Duterte’s pronouncements.
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