Judy Ann Santos airs frustration over pork barrel scam: “Hindi mo siya puwedeng hindi maisip kasi parte ka sa bansang ito na nagbabayad ng tax.”
“Bilang mamamayang Pilipino, kung ang gobyerno ay may karapatang maningil ng taxes natin, tayo bilang tao, may karapatan din tayong malaman na sa’n ba napunta [ang tax]? Hindi ba dapat meron din kaming rundown ng mga nangyayari sa pera namin?” For eight years, actress Judy Ann Santos fought the tax evasion complaint filed against her by the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) for underdeclaring her celebrity earnings in 2002.
PHOTO: NIMFA CHUA
Judy Ann Santos took a jab at the P10-billion pork barrel scam involving 38 individuals, mostly government officials, at the Champion Fabri-Con press launch held Monday noon, September 23, at the Makati Shangri-La hotel.
The actress, now endorsing the laundry product’s new fabric conditioner, candidly told how “worry-free” the product causes her to be that she barely thinks even of the pork scam now undergoing investigation by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
Expounding on her sarcastic response at the press conference proper, the young superstar told in an interview, “Hindi sa hindi ko siya naiisip. Naiisip ko siya!
“Hindi mo siya puwedeng hindi maisip kasi parte ka sa bansang ito na nagbabayad ng tax.
“At ako, kakatapos lang ng kaso. So, it makes me think, ‘What happened dun sa ibinayad ko? Kaninong bahay kaya siya napunta?’”
The case stemmed from the actress’ alleged underdeclaration of her earnings in 2002 from TV and movies projects and product endorsements.
The BIR investigation showed that the actress acquired a P2.724-million tax deficiency and that she only stated about P8.033-million income despite earning P16.3 million in 2002.
Early this year, the CTA Third Division dropped the complaint and ordered, in a 46-page decision, that the actress pay P3.418 million for her income deficiency tax in 2002 plus 20 percent interest as penalty “computed from 2008 until fully paid.”
A CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY. Having fought the case for eight years, Judy Ann relayed that the misuse and abuse of tax by those in power is downright frustrating.
“Hindi siya nakakairita, nakakabuwisit siya!” she exclaimed.
The actress also stated, “Di ba, parang lahat naman tayo, bilang workers, hindi lang artista, e, lahat tayo nagbabayad ng taxes natin and we try to pay kung ano yung dapat nating bayaran.
“And yung kagaya ko na nagka-kaso, sinabi ko naman na wala naman akong responsibility na tatalikuran lalo pa’t gobyerno ito.
“Pero bilang mamamayang Pilipino, kung ang gobyerno ay may karapatang maningil ng taxes natin, tayo, bilang tao, may karapatan din tayong malaman na sa’n ba napunta.
“Wala bang explanation?
“Hindi ba dapat meron din kaming rundown ng mga nangyayari sa pera namin?”
Judy Ann mentioned that the tax she pays along with the taxpayers of the country is hard-earned money.
“Dugo, pawis, at luha para sa aming mga artista ang kapalit ng trabahong ito at saka oras!
“We try to be responsible Filipino citizens.
"So, as politicians, please be responsible naman with your job dahil hindi madaling magtrabaho lalo pa’t may pamilya kang binubuhay.
“May pamilya kang... may mga bata kang gustong pagtapusin ng pag-aaral…”
JUSTICE. The actress prodded those put in power by the people during election period to use the public funds to good use and that, hopefully, progress will soon be felt by the country.
“Di ba, sinasabi nila, ‘Vote right, vote right!’
“How can you vote right kung hindi mo naman pala alam kung sa’n dinadala ng taong binoto mo yung perang binayad mo?” Judy Ann said.
Stating her eight-year case once more, the actress lamented, “Eight years akong may kaso with the BIR.
"But the case naman is not with the BIR, it’s with the government.
“BIR’s just doing their job—collecting taxes. They all just give it to the government.
“Yung government na yun ang magbibigay ng pera sa mga pork barrel.
“Parang ang point lang is, kung kami, pinu-push lang nang pinu-push magbayad, kakasuhan n'yo pa kami kapag may konting digits na hindi nabayaran, bakit hindi n'yo kasuhan yung mga pulitiko na malaking-malaking digits ang kinuha sa pera namin?”