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Marcos on corruption in BIR, Customs: Let’s forget the past

"Kalimutan na lang natin 'yung nakaraan."

(Let's forget the past.)

This was the response of President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. when asked about issues of corruption within the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

At a press briefing Thursday, Marcos was asked what his specific marching orders will be for those who will lead the two agencies when dealing with allegations of corruption.

Marcos said he would only go after those personalities who will be involved in corruption activities under his term. He stressed that there should be no place for corruption in the government.

"Ah corruption? Kalimutan na lang natin 'yung nakaraan. Sasabihin natin, 'Ah sige that's not under my watch, hindi ako, hindi ako namamahala noon eh. Ngayon ako na namamahala, so wala nang ganyan," Marcos said.

(Let's forget about the past. I'll say, 'That's not under my watch, it's not under my administration. Now that it's my administration, corruption will have no place.)

"Kung mayroon pang ganyan eh hahabul-habulin talaga namin kayo hindi pupuwede 'yan because we will not succeed," he added.

(If there's still corrupt individuals, we will go after them.) 

'Sins of the past'

Sought for clarification, Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles, picked by Marcos to be the incoming Press Secretary, said the president-elect does not want to focus on the "sins of the past."

She said she could not further expound Marcos' remarks on the matter.

"Pending cases will continue because they're pending cases. I think the approach as he had expounded in previous interviews is simply to not to concentrate too much on fault-finding or on the sins of the past because in his words, and I quote, 'Ako na ang namamahala ngayon. Kung dati hindi ako, ang nanagot 'yung iba (I'm the one in charge now.)'" Cruz-Angeles said.

Tax measures

Marcos, meanwhile, believed that there is a need to "codify our tax" to make it simpler and more understandable. 

"Now in my discussions with our legislators yesterday, we are trying to create some fiscal space. So that to reduce the load on ordinary citizens and maybe move the load up, the tax load up and there’s also distribution of wealth implications to that which are very very important. It’s one of the areas that I think we have to work on very very hard," Marcos said.

He is also eyeing to reduce tax collections on areas which are suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"That means MSMEs, agricultural sector, transport, 'yung mga ganoon, so babawasan natin let’s hope we can raise funds in other areas and use it there," Marcos said.

(That means MSMEs, agricultural sector, transport, we will reduce the tax collections on those sectors.) — RSJ, GMA News