World boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao revealed that he is losing endorsements abroad because his image had been tainted by a tax evasion case filed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
Pacquiao said at a press conference that his BIR case has tarnished his reputation overseas by creating a wrong impression that he is already being charged with tax evasion.
“Lumalabas sa Amerika na tax evader ako. Masama na ang tingin sa akin,” he said, adding that he will lose “millions of dollars” worth of endorsements until the issue is resolved.
“I am fighting for the glory of our country, and now I am being treated with this kind of harassment. I urge the BIR to stop this cavalier attitude,” he added.
Earlier this month, the BIR filed a case against Pacquiao for allegedly failing to submit documents such as tax records and contract endorsements the BIR asked him to produce.
Pacquiao’s battery of lawyers, however, claimed that the Sarangani representative was not given due process for denying him the opportunity to respond to the subpoena.
The boxing icon urged the BIR to sack the regional director of Region 12, Atty. Rozil Lozares, who filed the case against him in “bad faith” and besmirched his reputation.
“‘Yung mga taong tiwali at baluktot ang isip, kailangan na matanggal sa gobyerno. Hindi ata nila alam ang ginagawa nila. Sila ang nagpapabaluktot sa tuwid na daan ng pangulo,” Pacquiao said.
“Hindi ko naman sila pwedeng hamunin ng suntukan, talo na sila sa akin. Labanang legal nalang, para patas lang,” he added.
His lawyers added that they will file counter charges against Lozares for violating the anti- graft and corrupt practices act by causing “undue injury” to Pacquiao.