Retired Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio Carpio belied a statement by the camp of former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. that the PHP203-billion estate tax debt by his family is still “pending in court,” saying Carpio was still with SC when the high court issued the 1997 ruling ordering the Marcoses to settle the said tax liability.

This after Aksyon Demokratiko, the party of presidential candidate Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno, requested the SC for a Certificate of Finality in relation to the Court’s 1997 decision on the PHP203.819-billion tax liability of the Marcos family.

Carpio blasted Marcos’ spokesman, lawyer Vic Rodriguez, citing the 1997 Supreme Court decision upholding a judgment ordering the Marcos heirs to pay PHP23 billion in taxes as “final and executory.”

With accrued interest, the debt already ballooned to some PHP203 billion after 25 years of the Marcoses refusing to follow the court’s decision, Carpio said.

“Alleging that the case is still pending without specifying the actual case details sounds like fake news and – if it turns out to be untrue – the worst kind of black propaganda,” Carpio said in a statement.

Also, the lead convenor of opposition coalition 1Sambayan, Carpio stressed the importance of raising the issues surrounding the estate taxes of the former senator “because Marcos Jr. is running for the highest office.”

“The Filipino people cannot afford to have a president who is convicted of tax cases and has unpaid tax obligations, now worth over 200 billion pesos,” Carpio added.

In 1997, the Supreme Court affirmed a Court of Appeals ruling dismissing the Marcoses’ plea against a 1993 levy and sale on 11 Tacloban properties meant to settle the delinquent tax debt.

“In view of all the foregoing, we rule that the deficiency income tax assessments and estate tax assessment, are already final and unappealable and the subsequent levy of real properties is a tax remedy resorted to by the government, sanctioned by Section 213 and 218 of the National Internal Revenue Code,” the decision stated.

Marcos Jr. was the petitioner in this case.

In his letter to SC Deputy Clerk of Court and Chief of Office Basilia Ringol dated March 21, Aksyon Demokratiko Chairman Ernest Ramel Jr. specifically requested the certificate of finality on the case: “Ferdinand R. Marcos II, petitioner, vs. Court of Appeals, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and Herminia D. de Guzman (under) G.R. no. 120880 June 5, 1997.”

Ramel noted that the purpose of the said certificate was “to establish that the above-cited case is in fact final and executory and/or entered in the book of entries of judgments.”

Marcos’ spokesperson Rodriguez said, “It’s not a coincidence that rivals of presidential frontrunner Bongbong Marcos are raising this matter in unison a few weeks before the elections. Sadly, this is all about politics.”

“Our rivals are misdirecting everyone by claiming that the case has attained finality when the truth of the matter is, it is still pending in court and the ownership of the properties in litigation has yet to be settled,” Rodriguez added.

Rodriguez also previously said the pieces of property which were the subject of the tax case were still under litigation to which the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Presidential Commission on Good Government had an agreement on.