Lacson: Withhold Taxes to Protest Con-Ass

Senator Panfilo M. Lacson today called on businessmen and even ordinary taxpayers to withhold paying their taxes until there are clear signs that proponents of Charter change via constituent assembly (Con-Ass) are abandoning their plans and that President Arroyo is stepping down from power next year. 

“Aside from being a protest move, this would ensure that our taxes will be safe from the propensity of officials of this administration to perpetuate themselves to power by dipping their hands into government coffers,” Lacson said.

Lacson recalled that it was taxpayers’ money – from fertilizer and swine funds to Philhealth cards – which the Arroyo administration used in various forms of election cheating in the presidential elections of 2004 and in the national polls in 2007.

He added this “tax revolt” will also be a big help for business capitals at a time of economic recession which is expected to worsen later this year.

Lacson said businessmen may opt to hold on to their corporate dues until after the deadline of filing of certificates of candidacy in November, while income tax payers have until April next year to see if Con-Ass proponents would drop their push for Charter change.

He said that if Mrs. Arroyo is intent in running for Representative of her home province of Pampanga as strongly indicated by her political advisers and strategists in recent days, this would be clearly known by November as she has to file her certificate of candidacy.

“At that point, we can already see a brewing scheme not only to prolong her power stint but also to change our form of government,” Lacson said.

In the United States, he noted taxpayer groups went on a similar “tax revolt” to protest government spending on less essential programs earlier this year. The US is one of the hardest hit by the ongoing global recession.

In the event a new and acceptable President is elected, Lacson said corporate and income taxpayers will have the opportunity to show goodwill or reward the next dispensation or administration by renewing their payment of correct taxes.