FFE Magazine

Amid tax struggle, Pacquiao brings Joy

by FFE PH News Staff

Pacquiao in Tacloban Leyte. Photo: The Philippine Daily Inquirer

Pacquiao in Tacloban Leyte. Photo: The Philippine Daily Inquirer

 

Long before he won against Rios on 24 November in what was considered his comeback fight, Pacquiao had already promised he would visit his fans in the regions affected by typhoon Yolanda and give what aid he can.

 

However, before he could recover from the fight, the Bureau of Internal Revenue froze his bank accounts on 26 November because of an unpaid Php2.2b tax liability. Pacquiao is now battling BIR commissioner Kim Henares in one of the biggest tax battles of the year. Until the boxer is able to settle his tax liabilities for the years 2008 and 2009, he cannot touch one dime in his account.

 

But this didn’t stop him from helping communities in the Visayas.

 

Pacquiao flew on a private plane from General Santo sCity to Guiuan, Eastern Samar last week to spend a night with the survivors of the first town hit by typhoon Yolanda. He was also present in TaclobanCity yesterday amid the shouts and cheers of the survivors.

 

Standing in front of the throng of fans, Pacquiao said ‘Tindog Tacloban (Stand up Tacloban)! I know you can rise again just like me. I also fell down in the past but I persevered to stand and rise again.’

 

He added that everyone should not forget God as they recover from the calamity ‘Don’t lose hope. As long as we are alive, there is still hope. We can manage to return to live normally just like before. Never forget our God. He will never leave us.’

 

Some 7,000 people who were sheltered or who visited Tacloban Astrodome just for the occasion were grateful for Pacquiao’s visit, even though he wasn’t able to pass out relief goods. 64-year-old Nenita Badida said ‘We don’t expect anything from him. His mere presence is more than enough for us to somehow forget that we are victims of Yolanda’s mad fury.’

 

35-year-old Roland Ubal and his wife Corita were also gladdened by the sight of their idol. ‘At least, his visit makes us forget the calamity. Thank you for visiting us. We will never forget you Pacman.’

 

Pacquiao met with Tacloban city mayor Alfred Romualdez and his family before going around the city. A projector system screening Pacquiao’s fight live was set up on 24 November in the astrodome for survivors of the typhoon to watch their champion in action.

 

 

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