Famous Boxer Accused of Not Paying Taxes

December 23, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. unanimous [yoo-NAN-uh-muh s] (adj.) – based on the agreement of all parties involved
Example: The boxer won by a unanimous decision from the judges.   

2. top-billed [TOP-bild] (adj.) – popular or characterized as the main attraction in an event
ExampleTop-billed matches are the matches people look forward to in a boxing event. 

3. garnish [GAHR-nish] (v.) – to put owed money or properties on hold
Example: The man cannot withdraw because the bank garnished his accounts.

4. single out [SING-guhl out] (v.) – to bring special attention to someone from a group
Example: The mayor feels singled out because he is the only politician being accused of corruption. 

 5. sweat and blood [swet and bluhd] (idiom) – a great amount of effort or hard work
Example: His big house was a result of years of sweat and blood.


Read the text below.
Manny Pacquiao, one of the world's best boxers and congressman of Sarangani, Philippines, is being accused of not paying taxes.

Forbes ranked Pacquiao as the 14th highest paid athlete globally, with estimated earnings of $34 million. He came home from a unanimous decision victory against American opponent Brandon Rios in Macau last November 24.

After his victory in Macau, Pacquiao is being accused of not paying 2.2 Billion ($50.3 million) worth of taxes from prize earnings in his top-billed matches in 2008 and 2009. The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) garnished 1.1 Million ($25,160) from his bank accounts and is requiring him to comply with the investigation.

However, Pacquiao claims that he is not evading his taxes in the Philippines because he paid taxes in the US instead. He submitted his Internal Revenue Services access code and a certification from his promoter Top Rank that he paid taxes. However, the BIR did not accept the unofficial documents.

Pacquiao feels like he is being singled out with BIR’s accusations. He told reporters that he earned his money from sweat and blood and not from stealing, like what other corrupt politicians do. He angrily said that he was not warned before his bank accounts were garnished. He even needed to borrow money in order to help out typhoon victims because he could not withdraw from his own accounts.

Tax chief Kim Henares replied that BIR gave Pacquiao two years to comply, which is significantly longer than what is given to others. She also clarifies that there is no tax evasion case against Pacquiao, as they are only collecting the taxes that the athlete owes.  

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were in Manny Pacquiao’s shoes, how would you deal with the accusation?
·         How do you think Pacquiao can avoid this problem in the future? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         In your opinion, why are taxes important?
·         What do you think the government should spend people’s taxes on? Please explain briefly.


December 23, 2013