Church’s tax boycott threat benefits big-time tax evaders – Akbayan

At a time when the government is busy fighting big-time tax evaders, the call of the Catholic church hierarchy to boycott tax payments as a “form of protest” against the Reproductive Health bill will only “benefit major tax cheats”, this according to Akbayan Party, one of the leading political parties supporting the proposed bill.

Akbayan Representative Kaka Bag-ao said the threat of tax revolt would only serve the interest of big-time tax evaders using the church and the RH issue as convenient “tax shields.”

“This is precisely what big-time tax evaders are praying for. Armed with a new milieu to exploit a particular issue, these major tax cheats might ride the anti-RH bandwagon just to avoid paying taxes,” Bag-ao said.

Bag-ao said she the church’s tax revolt threat is injudicious. “The government is currently embroiled in the fight against major tax cheats; the call of the church for a tax boycott is misguided. It will not encourage people to lucidly participate in the RH discourse or responsibly exercise their right to protest, rather, it will only invite unscrupulous individuals to further muddle the issue while helping them evade from paying correctly their tax commitments.”

Bag-ao also said she would not be surprised if acknowledged big-time tax evaders will suddenly put their weight on the anti-RH campaign.

“Like any form of protest, the political context must be seriously considered. And the current context is, the state is waging a campaign against major tax cheats. With the Catholic church hierarchy’s tax revolt threat, they may unintentionally undermine this. Kaya hindi ako magtataka kung pati si Mikey Arroyo at iba pang big-time tax evaders ay sasama sa hanay ng mga anti-RH. I hope the church reconsiders this,” Bag-ao added.

Ang Galing Partylist Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo together with his wife Angela was charged with a whopping P73.85-million tax evasion complaints by the Bureau of Internal Revenues.

The young Arroyo’s mother, former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is reportedly opposed to the RH bill. During her nine-year period in office as president, Arroyo joined the Catholic church hierarchy in opposing the said bill.

Last November 2010, the Pampanga representative co-authored Paranaque Representative Roilo Golez in filing anti-RH bill no. 13 otherwise known as the “Protection of the Unborn Child Act of 2010” when enacted into law.

This is a press release from Akbayan.