SPARE CHANGE - With a sudden impact that may end up causing Manny Pacquiao more long term damage than Juan Manuel Marquez’s punches ever did, tax authorities in the Philippines have reportedly frozen Pacquiao’s financial assets.
Reports from Manila indicate that Pacquiao was in the midst of a trip to visit typhoon ravaged areas when he revealed that he had to borrow around 22,000 dollars to pay for supplies.
The problem is apparently based on allegedly unpaid taxes from 2008 – ’09. During those years, Pacquiao fought Marquez, Oscar de la Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Miguel Cotto, and David Diaz, all in Las Vegas.
Pacquiao is said to have paid the necessary taxes, but not provided satisfactory documentation to tax authorities.
Pacquiao said his wife’s accounts had also been frozen.
“I am not a criminal or thief,” Pacquiao told reporters in General Santos City. “I appeal to them to remove the garnishment so I can move and pay for my staff’s salaries.”
The most startling early information to come out so far might be the relatively small amount seized from Pacquiao’s banking accounts. A Revenue Commissioner said that attempts to garnish Pacquiao’s money only yielded around 25,000 US dollars.
If that reported total is anywhere near accurate, it raises some crucial, near heart-breaking questions about the current state of Manny Pacquiao’s livelihood.
Confidentiality issues prohibited any tax specifics or reliable estimates being available at posting time, but you can bet that news will be forthcoming somewhere.
Whether that information becomes firestorm or fodder is still, currently, at least a few hours away The jackals will be howling soon enough.
Some legitimate questions of cash flows, dry wells and poison liquidities are probably inevitable. One might hope Pacquiao has a clever accountant or a very thick mattress.
What happened to the approximately 17 million US greenbacks Pacquiao supposedly made just four days ago for his victory over Brandon Rios?
You would have to imagine that Bob Arum has already initiated some major crisis intervention or damage control from his optimally oiled Top Rank machine.
Whatever personal advisors Pacquiao has outside boxing better be on their toes too, quicker than Timothy Bradley.
Red flag time is here.
The most important issues that should come under scrutiny are earlier reports, generally dismissed, that maybe the only reason Pacquiao is still fighting after the potentially damaging Marquez debacle is because Manny needs the money.
That raises an even more troubling question. Perhaps Pacquiao was hurt more than he lets on after Marquez, withholding health information so the Senator can keep his night job and continue to be licensed to box.
It might be cynical to suggest that perhaps taxes, crucial as they have become in Pacquiao’s life these days, are not the only reason he currently campaigns in China, where licensing qualifications may be different, as in more lenient or possible to evade, than in Nevada.
How strong is the possibility that Pacquiao might currently have issues passing neurological exams under strict guidelines in Nevada?
How strong is the possibility that the beloved Pac-man, a seemingly decent, self-sacrificing fellow, finds himself forced to fight past the point of personal safety?
Maybe in our prayers for the Philippines we should add Manny’s name, and hope those possibilities turn out to be a lot less substantial than those once dismissed reports of a possibility Manny Pacquiao was about to join that regretful old collective, of great fighters who earned and lost a fortune.