• Boxing

Pacquiao borrowed money for typhoon aid

ESPN staff
November 26, 2013
Manny Pacquiao maintains he has paid the correct amount of tax money © Getty Images

Manny Pacquiao has revealed he had to borrow money to keep his promise of providing aid to Typhoon Haiyan victims after Philippines revenue authorities reportedly froze his bank accounts.

Pacquaio returned to the ring to defeat Brandon Rios on Saturday, but he Bureau of Internal Revenue says the welterweight star has not proved he paid taxes in 2008-2009. It has assessed that Pacquiao, once one of the world's highest paid athletes, owed 2.2 billion pesos ($50 million) in back taxes as of July.

The 34-year-old confirmed on Tuesday that he was forced to borrow over 1 million pesos ($22,700) to purchase relief supplies before his fight with Rios in Macau. He also plans to borrow more in his bid to provide aid to more than 10,000 families.

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"I appeal to them to remove the garnishment so that I can move and pay for my staff's salaries," Pacquiao said. "I am not a criminal or a thief."

Typhoon Haiyan destroyed entire communities, killing over 5,200 people when it ploughed through the central Philippines. More than 1,600 people are still missing.

Pacquiao maintains he paid taxes in the United States following his victories against Ricky Hatton and Oscar de la Hoya and that a treaty prevents double taxation. A criminal case was dropped by prosecutors for alleged unpaid taxes in 2010, but the revenue authorities' tax claims for the 2008-2009 is still pending.

The congressman said if he had not paid the right taxes in the United States, he would have been arrested during one of his visits there. Pacquiao also stated his wife's accounts have also been frozen.

"The money that was garnished by [the Bureau of Internal Revenue] is not stolen," Pacquiao said. "This came from all of the punches, beatings, blood and sweat that I endured in the ring."

However, Revenue commission Kim Henares stated Pacquiao has submitted nothing from the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as proof of his tax payments - just a letter from promoter Top Rank and HBO.

"That is self-serving and a mere scrap of paper," Henares said. "What he can do is go to the IRS, ask the IRS to certify this copy [of his tax payments] as a true copy. We have been waiting for that for two years."

Henares stated of the 22 banks her agency has ordered to report on Pacquiao's accounts, only two said they held deposits for Pacquiao and that the total was only 1.1 million pesos ($25,200), which is now covered by the garnish.

"It is unbelievable to me that he has only 1.1 million pesos," Henares said.

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This article originally appeared on ESPN.com

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