MANILA — On June 6th, actor Zoren Legaspi shared his sentiments about the tax evasion charges filed against him by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
Legaspi spoke with members of the media on his preliminary hearing at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In an interview with GMA News, Zoren said, “Mabigat talaga sa kalooban ko. Minsan nga iniisip ko na, ‘Sige kahit tawagin niyo na lang akong tax evader, matapos na lang ‘to.’ Pero mabigat talaga sa kalooban ko, dahil yung system kasi, may flaw dun sa system. Kasi pag tax evader ka, mahahanay ka na kung kani-kaninong criminal e na hindi magandang pakinggan sa tenga.”
(I feel really bad. Sometimes, I think, ‘fine, you can call me a tax evader, let’s just get this over with.’ But I still feel bad, because the [BIR] system has flaws. If you’re labeled a tax evader, you’re along the lines of other criminals, and it’s not nice to hear.)
Legaspi even pointed out how he could have missed paying P4.45-million worth of taxes in 2010 and 2012 when he was hailed as one of the top individual tax payers in Pasig City in 2010.
“Noong 2010 na case nila, that’s the year na nag-top 10 ako sa Pasig. So ayun nga e so ayaw ko nga sanang magsalita dahil ayokong masisi ba. So ang sinisisi ko na lang dito ay yung system, hindi yung mga tao,” he said.
(In their 2010 case, that’s the same year I got in the top 10 [individual tax payers] in Pasig City. I didn’t want to say anything because I didn’t want to catch blame. The only thing I’m blaming here is the system, not the people.)
Legaspi admitted that he let his accountant take care of everything and pay for his taxes. Based on his affidavit, he also admitted that he didn’t know if the contents of her tax documents were accurate. He also mentioned that he only received the letter from BIR on May 7, but tax evasion charges were already filed against him the next day, May 8. He also said that he doesn’t know about the existence of the other three tax identification numbers (TINs) under his name since he only uses one TIN.
“Bakit naman ako gagamit ng multiple TIN numbers (sic)? Why? Para hindi ako makabayad? Bakit naman ayokong magbayad?”
(Why would I use multiple TINs? Why? So I won’t have to pay? Why don’t I want to pay?)
Manwhile, BIR insists that their charges against Legaspi will remain the same even if the actor pays the taxes he owes.
Legaspi’s second preliminary hearing is set on June 16th.
With report from Arniel Serato, PEP.ph